February 23, 2017
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The tree surprised me! A year before it had appeared dead, its bare branches forming an artistic silhouette against a blue sky. Then someone cut the branches off, presumably for firewood. I wrote about this tragic scene in a previous essay stating that “someone had amputated the artful branches of the dead tree. It stood there, a grotesque remnant of the picturesque tree it had been, a few large limbs remaining, but the smaller artistically curved branches were gone.”
I was wrong! The tree wasn’t dead but apparently in its dormant phase. It now is growing new clusters of leaves at the end of each stump that will become new branches. What a resilient tree!
The tree talked to me in silent words loudly spoken; resilience is a key to living well, not just for trees, but for people too! Setbacks come our way in many different forms. The question is, what will we do with those setbacks? Read the Bible stories of the men and women God used in great and wonderful ways, and in almost every instance they faced difficulties and setbacks. God was able to do great things with them because of how they responded with faith to their difficult circumstances.
We can choose how we respond to a setback; we can choose to bounce back from the setback! If we fail we can choose to fail forward, determining that failure does not have to be final!
That tree with new growth on the ends of its cut off branches was a reminder to me of the principle of resilience. The same God who built resilience into that tree has done the same with you and me! We just have to, in faith, act on that fact!
“Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.” (Psalm 71:20)