While we have been enjoying the summer in the cool, clear, mountain air at our retreat, we have also been doing a lot of landscaping, or I should say our friends have with the help of their excavator. Our property is looking so much better now, that it’s become quite inspiring. My friend Donna and I were so inspired, that we decided to take the Kawasaki “Mule” into the forest to see if we could dig out a few tiny trees to use around our property. We had seen so many little cuties, so armed with a shovel and a hand spade, her Mini-Schnauzer, Toby, and our Maddie, we headed for the woods.
We schmoozed around until we found a little fir, about a foot tall. “This will be easy,” we told each other, as we dismounted and grabbed our tools. But we were in for quite a surprise!
We couldn’t seem to get to the soil for all of the rocks surrounding that spindly tree trunk. The two of us, bent in half, struggled and struggled for about twenty minutes, and kept telling ourselves that we were crazy to pursue. But it’s like this, we were both focused, big time, on getting that little tree. So we persevered until finally we were able to free the roots from the rocks to which it had clung so tightly.
We are so proud that we succeeded, and will plant that little stubborn character some place special on the property, and each time we see it and watch it grow, we’ll recall the lesson we learned from that tree.
It may be tough to grow in stony ground, to work your way through the trials and hard experiences of life, but that enables you to build strength – physical strength and strength of character.
When the destructive experiences come, those that would destroy you, you will have the strength to hold fast, to not become discouraged or dislodged from your position. Your roots can grow very deep into the nourishing soil of God’s love and grace.
Someone once said that the trials we endure are workmen to help us to perfect our character. Just yesterday, I told that to a friend who has endured a concentration of agony lately. Her husband had a fall while they were on a foreign vacation – a fall that nearly took his life due to multiple internal injuries. Weeks later on a trip to see family, she had a fall, and broke a vertebrae in her back. Her husband’s blood pressure remains difficult to control since his fall, and just last night, his temperature escalated. Next morning, it was discovered that he has an impacted and infected wisdom tooth that has to come out. And she faces still the possibility of serious back surgery or body cast. Today we learned that in addition to everything else going on, her hubby has Shingles, as well. It’s as if a black cloud has parked above their heads with no intention of moving on out!
Trials are the rocks through which we must grow. They do build strength and endurance, and if you are anything like trees, you surely will grow strong and be able to endure such things as the pull and tug caused by two foolish women endeavoring to transplant you. Unlike the tree, you will not be moved!