I got an email today with some stunning photography in it – and it included one picture that especially caught my eye. The email was from my Mother, who loves to send me emails. I get a lot of them from her. I appreciate them because they often (though not always - LOL) give me some insights or amusement. This one caught my eye because it reminded me of how growth – no matter what the growth looks like – can encounter some amazing obstacles.
The image above is the one that my mother’s email included. It is of a tree growing up into and through an old car. For me, when I saw it, the tree represented the individual and how we grow. It is still just a tree. It grows with sunshine, water, and nutrients. It grows based on the wind that twists it and the type of tree it is. It grows despite the obstacles that get in its way. Some grow off the side of mountain tops, some grow in desolate places, and some grow in the midst of friends and forests. But they grow anyway.
The tree in this picture either had its origins as a seed that blew in and took root there – or it was already growing when the old car was abandoned over it. But the tree kept growing and growing and growing. It made adaptations and changes to grow – despite the obstacle that was in its way. It grows through the car – through the large and small openings in the car. It grew despite the obstacle. It grew to reach the sunlight and the rain. It grew to be what it was created to be.
That’s important for us, too. We grow despite the obstacles. Sometimes we grow right through them. We have to be persistent. We have to adapt and change to the circumstances. We have to find the small and large openings to grow through.
But sometimes we get derailed by the obstacles in our way. We stop growing … we get stuck. We refuse to find a way to grow despite the struggles.
But this is the exact time that our growth can be the most potent and lasting. When we grow in the midst of obstacles we are choosing to be all of who God created us to be. When we grow we are embracing what God wants of us and for us. When we grow despite the obstacles we are growing with God’s grace.
We will all encounter obstacles. As my Dad said often when I was growing up, “Nobody promised you that life would be easy.” But we are not alone in our growth. God is with us in this growth. God is blessing us with sunshine, rain and nutrients – all we need to grow. God is here – right now – cheering on your growth, sending you all you need, loving you through the obstacles.
So, here’s my invitation to you – grow despite the obstacles. Grow in the midst of the hard times that you find yourself in. Hang on to anything you can grab hold of.
Find a way. Don’t give up.
Keep growing. Don’t give up.
Make a way through the obstacle. Don’t give up.
God is with you. Don’t give up.