When the path seems pointless

Ever wondered why God is taking so long to bring your dreams to life, or if He even will? During a recent “woe is me” episode (yes, another one), I stumbled upon “The Tale of The Three Trees.”

I dug into the whimsical, worry-free pages of childhood and shed more tears than I’ll admit, as I read about three trees with gigantic dreams.  One tree dreamt of holding the finest treasures in the world; the other dreamt of holding a royal king.

 “The third little tree looked down into the valley below and said I don’t want to leave this mountain top at all…I want to grow so tall that when people stop to look at me, they will raise their eyes to heaven and think of God.”

 My spirit leapt as I read of tree three’s desires because I also want my life to point to God. But, the pathway to tree three’s dreams wasn’t unfolding as she planned. Sound familiar?

 For her, years of growing and dreaming passed. Then, one day, a woodcutter appeared. The tree did her best to look strong and tall, hoping the woodcutter would look up, marvel at God and find some other tree to cut — but he did not.

 I imagine the tree wept in confusion and sorrow as she was chopped down and hauled off to a lumberyard, where a man began a curious work. Many long nights of questioning and frustration ensued as she lay in a dark and seemingly purposeless place.

 Maybe you feel like that right now — like the job you’re in or the classes you’re taking or this season of life is without purpose or fulfillment.  Undoubtedly, like this tree, you have a divine destiny. You have dreams and desires, but you feel like God chucked you in a wood stack and walked off laughing with friends.

Well, I have good news: there is a point to the wood stack season of life. In the wood stack, we are being carved and shaped for even greater things. The Holy Spirit is chopping, sawing and perfecting our character in ways that may be uncomfortable or painful. But designs are being crafted in us, which are like none other on this earth, so that we can complete the tasks created for none other than us!

“One Friday morning, the third tree was startled when her beams were yanked from the forgotten woodpile. She flinched as she was carried through an angry and jeering crowd, and she shuttered when soldiers nailed a man’s hands to her… But, on Sunday morning, when the sun arose and the earth trembled beneath her, the third tree knew that God’s love had changed everything…and every time people thought of the third tree they would think of God. That was better than being the tallest tree in the world.”

 So, if you’re in life’s lumberyard, take heart. Strength and patience can be found in these promises:

                  “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven… He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet, no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end,” Ecclesiastes 3:1,11.

 “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do,” Ephesians 2:10.

 “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns,” Philippians 1:6.

 “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted,” Matthew 23:12.

 “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint,” Isaiah 40:31.

 “Come near to God and he will come near to you…” James 4:8.

 “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails,” Proverbs 19:21.

So, let’s challenge each other not to get tired in the waiting and not to move ahead of God. Let’s push one another to keep steady and focused and marvel at how strong, how tall, and how well we’re growing in Christ.

 

- Alexis // @alexisreb