The Old Gnarled Tree

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What caused those knots?
Blistering winds, relenting storms, sickness that threatened death? A tiny animal who burrowed its way in, stunting growth and nourishment?
Maybe it was just simply the challenge of growing upward that proved to be too hard, maybe the weight of growing older was just too heavy, and that pressure tried to bend and hinder the life of the tree.
Yet, somehow, it kept thriving, kept pushing forward, kept pressing on. Even past the knot. Even past the “pain,” always striving for greater heights, always moving beyond the simple expectations.
It kept reaching upward regardless of the hardships that came. The hindrance may have made it pause, resulting in the knots, but the tree strained and pushed beyond the limitations to continue on the path up toward the heavens.
Isn’t that how our lives should be? We will face turmoil. We will face strife. We may even face death a time or two, but where is our resolve? Where is our tenacity to carry on through the trial? Where is our strength to push back against this adversary called life and reach toward our destiny?
Don’t let the pressures of this life pull you down! Don’t let the winds of defeat threaten you and cause you to quit! You can make it through! You can do this! You can reach the end with dignity and grace. You can choose to win.
It may not be easy. It may not even be fun! Just remember there are those coming behind you who need your courage. There are those coming behind you who need your faith. Show them the way by shining in the darkness. Clear the path so that they may cross over as well.
We all have a purpose. We all have a place. Even when you feel battered and bruised, hindered and held back by the limits of this life, you have a destiny to reach.
So, keep fighting the cold; keep pushing back against the winds. Even when the twists and turns leave knots and gnarled bark in your way, Stay the course. Remain vigilant to the path. You can do this. You can win.
Just remain. Just have faith. Just believe.

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14

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