I wonder why this tree grew in this particular way. I wonder what happened in the early days of the life of this tree that caused it to grow sideways. Was there another tree in the way? Was there another obstacle of some kind? It is a beautiful tree except for the trunk that did not grow straight up as most trees do but headed across the ground until it could find a way to reach the sunlight of encouragement. Until it found a way to bloom and bear leaves and be useful.
Life sometimes can also throw us a curve ball. We can be side tracked, derailed, frustrated, and overwhelmed. A diagnosis, a death, a relationship issue, or a pandemic can all derail our lives even in just a few weeks. Most of us could not see something like this happening to our country even just two months ago. All of a sudden shopping became a hazardous venture, supplies are in short supply, wearing masks and gloves into stores and banks is now encouraged, and hugging is taboo. This happened overnight. This fear and anxiety and a whole new normal caught us all off guard. Did our trunks grow sideways too? Aren’t we too searching for the sunlight and the encouragement to grow upright and bear fruit and bloom?
There is good news even in this day. Deut. 20:4 For the Lord your God is going with you! He will fight for you against your enemies, and He will give you victory! We have someone on our side in these times. Psalms 18:2 He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. Wonderful news that He is our place of safety. Psalms 59:16 But I will sing of Your power; yes I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning, for You have been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble. In times of trouble our Lord is with us, protecting us and He is our refuge. He leads us to the sunlight. He calms our fears and gives us His peace. He is available to all who fear. He loves His people and cares about all that concerns them. He has a good plan for our lives, to prosper us and to help us to bloom and be useful even in times of trouble.
The tree was encouraged and determined to find a way to live in the sunlight and do the work it was called to do. The tree stretched its branches and fought for life no matter what the obstacle was. The tree found a defense and refuge in the times of trouble. Possibly we can grasp much from the life of this tree in the face of trouble.