"It is the struggle that makes the beauty." This was said to a little girl by her mother when the child found a seedling of a Joshua tree that she wanted to take home and plant in a safe place. Why did the child feel the need to protect this young plant? It was because of a fully mature tree she had walked past on many occasions that ran parallel to the ground. The tree had grown this way due to its location which was near a wind tunnel. The small girl didn't want the tiny sapling to suffer the same fate as the other tree since it had grown all twisted and gnarled, but her mother realized that the struggles that the tree had faced gave it its beauty. "Beauty in the struggle," that thought has stayed with me for some time now. I have meditated on it for weeks and wanted to share a few thoughts.
We live in a society that labels everything and everyone. You are either too tall or too short, too thin or too thick or you are too strong or too weak. It seems that is how we operate, including the church. I have witnessed my share of labelings, and may have been labeled a time or two myself and may have been guilty of doing a little labeling too. It is so easy to do, we tend to look at someone and judge by what is on the outside yet God teaches us the exact opposite. He wants us to look deeper yet how often do we actually do that?
People are not the only ones who label, Satan does his fair share of it and has mastered the art. We can easily relate to that tree growing in full blast of the wind tunnel because we too can feel the gusts of our adversary blowing as hard as he can with all of his lies. He fills our mind with the negative emotions of doubt, fear, unworthiness and shame. He does his best to convince us that God could and would not love someone like us, after all our life looks as twisted and ugly as the Joshua tree. These winds of adversity have the power to enhance the scars we already posses and make us believe that what Satan says is true, God would never want to use us for anything. Satan wants us to believe that every mistake we have made and every scar we bear makes us no longer worthy to be called a child of God.
Yet nothing could be farther from the truth. God teaches that all things work together for good to them that love Him; ALL things include the scars of our past. In fact, scars are proof that someone fought a battle and survived, they were victorious. The Bible is filled with countless individuals that show this to be true. Judah committed immorality with his own daughter-in-law, yet God saw fit to use him in the linage of Christ. David buckled under the fear of Saul and hid among the Philistines, a heathen people, yet God still gave him the throne. Abraham hearkened to the voice of his wife Sarah and conceived a child with her handmaid Hagar yet God still called him His friend.
Scars are not meant to be a sign of weakness but a sign of overcoming. Jesus has scars. When He appeared to the disciples in the upper room in His gloried body, He bore the scars of the cross. It was His sign of triumph over death and the grave and He has chosen to keep them. When we get to heaven, we will be able to see those victorious scars for ourselves.
I want to be an encouragement to those who have scars in their life, scars that have caused them to hang their head in shame and given them a sense of little worth. God loves you!! Please don't fall for that old adversary's lies. Even though the wind played a part in the shape of the tree, it did not define it's outcome. When we allow the truth of God's word to sink into our very soul, we will realize that He is the God of second chances. Do you know what else is interesting? That mother who pointed out the tree's beauty was an artist and out of all the trees she could have painted, she chose that one. Yes, we will always bear a scar from our past, but with God's help we can move forward and someday see the beauty in the struggle.
I am just an ordinary girl who is loved by an extraordinary God and I seek to love others the same way. I love to bake, read, do puzzles, watch Hallmark movies, and go shopping with my mom! This blog was created as a place where I could share some thoughts that the Lord has shown me and to be an encouragement to others who desire to know Him in a deeper way. My prayer is to learn to sit still and trust God with my future.
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