Thirty years and a day ago:
I wasn't married.
I wasn't a Christian.
I'd never grown anything...legally.
Boy, what a difference a few decades makes. Do you give yourself the chance to believe that anything is possible?
Sometimes we despair that our kids or our own future is limited by what we've seen; what we've known.
But that's not true.
When we see a mighty tree, do we remember it was once a seed? On another tree.
Day after day, year after year it has stood its ground. And grown. Sometimes up, sometimes down, spurts, sputters, sideways, stops.
Growth can sometimes feel imperceptible in our lives, just like looking at trees as you drive by. But if you take the time to look a little closer - it's there.
Small as it might seem, the key is to believe and persevere. Not to dissect the trunk and count the rings, but to do just as the leaves and branches do: reach up for the light.
"Though your beginning was small, " it says in Job 8:7, "yet your latter end would increase abundantly." In the Common English Version of the Bible, it states it like this: "Although your former state was ordinary, your future will be extraordinary"
This week I encourage you to find a big tall tree (one you will see frequently as you take a jog, walk the dog or drive some place familiar). Now, take a closer look at the trunk. You will likely see a bend, a twist, a broken limb or bifurcated trunk. Some are straight, but most are not. They've been through some stuff.
Imagine, for a moment, all the seasons that tree has weathered and be encouraged. The path to progress can seem arduous and painfully slow, but don't give up: the days seem long, but the years fly by. Stand your ground.
"They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. " Isaiah 61:3