In the thick of the forest . . .
. . . have you ever noticed that some trees grow bent?
Some trees lean, looking like they may topple to the ground.
Young trees fail to reach directly skywards.
Established trees display a decades-old curvature of the spine.
Some start out well but something happens and they turn.
Others grow up reaching for the sun without wavering to the north or south, east or
west. The trunk is solid. This, we think, is the ideal. This is a true tree.
Our lives are like these trees. We take different paths — curves, distinct bends,
maybe just leaning a bit from true up.
This season I’ve been rehearsing for a concert of Messiah, one of the most
creative musical works our culture has given us. One song quotes Isaiah
40: “Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill made low, the crooked straight, and the rough places plain.”
These trees on display in the forest on a fine fall afternoon made me think of that song. One day all the crookedness of our lives will be made true and pure; the rough will be smoothed out. It’s hard to see that today. We need faith to imagine such a time. When I look at my own bent, curved “trunk,” I hang onto this faith. I believe.
How about you? Do you believe God can redeem the bends and twists of our lives?