Monday, November 24, 2014

The More the Storm, The More the Strength

I was going through some material yesterday morning while preparing for the lesson I teach for church on Sundays (insert judgements regarding my severe habit of procrastination here.) And I stumbled upon this wonderful gem by a poet named Douglas Malloch:

    The tree that never had to fight
    For sun and sky and air and light,
    But stood out in the open plain
    And always got its share of rain,
    Never became a forest king
    But lived and died a scrubby thing.

    Good timber does not grow with ease:
    The stronger wind, the stronger trees;
    The further sky, the greater length;
    The more the storm, the more the strength.
    By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
    In trees and men good timbers grow.

And that's when she started to cry, this tree that doesn't want to fight anymore for sun and sky and air and light. This tree that doesn't want the cold or storm or wind or snow. This tree that would rather have the perfect measure of glorious sun and just the right sprinkling of refreshing rain. This tree that thinks she would be perfectly happy to be weak and dependent and doesn't see why it is so important to be strong and brave. This tree that sometimes just wants to give up because she is fairly certain she is not equipped to withstand the constant thrashing of the heavy winds that life throws her way. This tree that more often than not does not believe she is equal to the tasks in front of her.

Because someone believes she is. Someone knows just what this tree needs to grow strong and unyielding. And to nurture and teach and protect the little trees that are now growing in the protection of her shade, but will someday face the elements on their own.

This certainly does not mean that this tree won't continue to whine and complain from time to time and beg for reprieve from the storm. Because she probably will.

But she will summon up the energy and the courage to face another day, cloudy or clear. Because, in the end, someone much wiser and with much more faith in her than she has in herself knows that she can one day rule the forest. And who is she to argue with that?


  1. This is so sweet and wonderful. I always tell the girls that hard things make us strong, but they don't ever want to hear it, and frankly, I'm not so good at remembering it and valuing it myself. It's so true though--lives of ease do absolutely nothing to increase our faith or strength...which is exactly why you are one of the strongest people I know! And just know that you have provided more shade, shelter and shielding to others than you will probably ever realize in this life. I love you so much.

    P.S. If you are a tree, then I am a tree hugger.

  2. Thank you for sharing this Cyndie. That's exactly what I needed.