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Odd Satisfaction of Trees and Chairs
We did a new thing a few weeks ago: planted fruit trees. It is oddly satisfying to water them and watch them grow. This year we won’t have a full crop, but I’m hopeful that in years to come we have so much, we will have to give some away.
This morning I did another oddly satisfying chore: I fixed a recliner. Installing the replacement part felt like furniture surgery, surgery for which robotic assistance would’ve been helpful. But despite my lack of tech, or even a helper, I got ‘er done. Pulling that handle and having the footrest pop up gave me inexplicable joy.
Yesterday I got a call from my mom’s cousin Gayle, who was born just a month after my mom. Gayle is the most saintly woman I have ever met. It’s a tremendous blessing to call her family and benefit from her prayers. Gayle lives in Michigan where winter is long and cold. Gayle told me that the hardest thing about winter is the wind. Then she told me a little story, which obviously I’m paraphrasing.
“One time I heard about how they planted trees in Arizona, and they grew and even sprouted a nice canopy. But then the trees just fell down. The scientists determined that the trees needed the wind to be strong. So I try to think about that when it’s windy.”
Have you even known someone who tries to conjure up a reason to be thankful for the bitter cold wind? What an amazing perspective! Yes, the wind makes the roots grow deep and strong. Those big, beautiful trees that surround Gayle wouldn’t exist without the wind.
Likewise resistance and stress make us stronger, too. The seasons of my life that have been most challenging have also been the most maturing spiritually. If we allow the hardships to draw us closer to God, we learn to trust Him more, and learn to embrace joy in all seasons. Even fixing that chair feels like an apt metaphor. When things break down, we rejoice more at the solution than if they were never broken. Isn’t that, in part, the lesson of the lost coin and the prodigal son? How does this principle apply to God’s plan for redemption? How does it apply in your daily life?
“…we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:3-4
What are some of the “winds” in your life right now? Can you be grateful for how deeper, stronger roots may be the result?
How can you encourage someone today by pointing to how you can see the fruit that a time of suffering has produced in their life?