I took this picture the other day when my wife and I were out hiking. So many questions… What happened? When did it happen? How had the tree managed to survive? 

The details might be a mystery, but it’s plain to see the tree was impacted in a very unexpected and negative way. Yet it’s is still growing up, not from it’s top, but from its side.  Despite the challenge, it’s not done being what a tree is created to do. It’s reaching up for the light it needs… not just surviving, but thriving! 

There have been times in my life when I’ve felt like the picture of this tree… expectedly pushed down, troubled, or challenged. You? How about so far in 2020?

The Bible tells us to expect difficult times, but it also that difficult times are not to define us. 

“God said that light should shine out of the darkness. He is the same one who shone in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ… We are experiencing all kinds of trouble, but we aren’t crushed. We are confused, but we aren’t depressed. We are harassed, but we aren’t abandoned. We are knocked down, but we aren’t knocked out.” (2 Corinthians 4:6-9, CEB) 

As people of faith, in all circumstances of our lives, we keep reaching up for the light of God that’s reaching down in Jesus Christ. At times we may be troubled, but not crushed!  We may be knocked down, but not knocked out!  We don’t just survive, but we thrive!

My prayer is that we will all be more like “tree-like!” 

Your partner on the journey,

Pastor Steve