This is a picture of my neighbor’s tree. I think it’s the most interesting sight on the block. Can you see why I think so?
Look at the trunk. I’m not sure how the tree ended up this way, leaning at such an odd angle, but the tree is thriving. Every spring it displays beautiful pink blossoms and in the fall the tree’s green leaves turn a gorgeous golden orange.
Every time I look at this tree (and I really do mean every single time), I’m reminded of how challenging life can be. For many of us, life hands us circumstances and situations that bend us out of shape. Loved ones pass away. Dreams are deterred. Jobs are lost. Opportunities fade. Discouragement comes. Sometimes, it seems we’re bent so far that we will break.
But we don’t. Why not?
Because as I look at that tree I’m also reminded of how strong God is. God is El Shaddai, the All Sufficient One. He cares for His children and will not let us break. El Shaddai does not promise the absence of hard times, but He assures us that He will provide for us even when we’re bent.
When life’s trials cause us to bend at a painful angle, God can nourish us so that we beautifully bloom exactly where we are planted, just like the tree in the picture above. And as we bloom, God gets the glory and we gain the strength needed to flourish.
I am bent today. Are you?
We must not fret. We must not wither. We must not die. Instead, we must pray and open our Bibles. God will speak to us and remind us of how He can and will provide for us.
- For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,k neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
- We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
- but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
God’s Word tells us that He, El Shaddai, will sustain us! When life hits us with something hard, something unexpected, and something painful, we may bend, but we don’t have to break. The enemy thinks he’s successfully brought us down low, but as believers we have a surprise for him!
From that lowly position, it’s easier for us to assume the posture of prayer. From that lowly position, we can lie prostrate before God and draw closer to Him. Yes, we’re bent, but we’re blossoming because we’re leaning on El Shaddai! To God be the glory!
© 2015, Andrea Thorpe. All rights reserved.