The tree is thriving on an Iowa farm north of New Hartford and west of Cedar Falls. I’ve watched it grow through the years. It’s thriving in spite of the fact that it’s growing out of a silo! For years I didn’t see the tree; it hadn’t cleared the top of the silo, growing in obscurity.
Obviously the silo has not been used for years to store silage, but a tree seedling found this to be the place it had been planted by the wind or from some bird’s droppings. It must have been a struggle for the sapling with life-giving light being limited to a circular opening above. Finally, after several years, the tree cleared the top of the silo, and could spread its branches. Now visible to anyone driving by, the tree is a silent message loudly spoken of how persevering where you’re planted pays off.
We have no input when it comes to many of our circumstances. We don’t choose when we’re born, where we’re born or to whom we’re born. We have no say in determining our genetic make-up. In spite of vitamins, medicines, exercise, and eating bran muffins, the condition of our health is largely out of our control. What people think of us, say about us, say to us, or do to us is primarily in their control, not ours.
The good news is that God is in ultimate control of everything, including our lives, that nothing catches Him by surprise or befuddles Him, and that He has a plan! This can and should dramatically affect how we respond to our circumstances. Elisabeth Elliot was a Christian author and speaker. She was widowed at a young age when her husband, a missionary, was killed by the men of a tribe they were trying to reach with the Gospel message. She later married again, and after four years her husband died. Elliot faced many other struggles in life but had this to say in the face of it all. “God’s ways are mysterious, and our faith develops strong muscles as we negotiate the twists and turns of our lives.”
We may not be able to control what happens to us, but we can always choose how we’re going to respond to what happens to us! With a faith in the Good Lord and a willingness to yield to His will there is always the power to make a good choice in whatever the circumstances. We can thrive where we’re planted!
The Old Testament patriarch Joseph said to his brothers, who had previously done him wrong, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:20)