Here is an insightful story from Guideposts that has encouraged me ~~
I was admiring the beautiful hardwood pews that a carpenter friend builds for places of worship. He told me he personally selects the trees from which the pews are made. “The cost is considerable,” he said. “First of all, I have to travel by plane halfway across the continent to where the trees grow. Then I must hike for days through hardwood forests on the stormy side of the slopes.”
”Why the stormy side?” I asked.
”That’s where trees develop deep roots and firm cell structures because they must grow strong enough to withstand the prevailing winds. By comparison, the trees on the sheltered side of the slopes have shallow roots and a coarse grain.”
Last year the prevailing winds were blowing rather fiercely on my side of the slope. There were family decisions to make, problems complicating my course of action and upheavals in my work schedule. My inclination was simply to give in to self-pity and wait for the pressures to slack off. But they didn’t.
Instead, I found myself praying--really praying--for the courage to meet problems head-on, for the grace to confront difficult situations, for guidance in establishing a time-management plan.
At the end of the year, I was not only standing a little taller and a little straighter, I had gone down a whole lot deeper with God.
Lord, You not only created trees, You were raised here on earth by a carpenter and know the value of growing on the stormy side of the slope. Use the winds in my life to help me grow strong in spirit.
-Alma Barkman- (Guideposts)
"But God demonstrated His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us ... being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him." Romans 5:8 & 9