When I was a little girl, there was a tree in the curve of the road that I looked for with wide eyes each time we went to see a friend of mine. It was a young pine tree, mixed in with others that were much larger, but it wasn’t just any old tree. Its’ trunk had grown in the shape of an S…and we lovingly referred to it as our “crooked tree.” I had not been able to find it in many years, but not long ago, my sister went for a run and sent me a picture…of our crooked tree, all grown up.
You see, I couldn’t locate it because I had been looking for it as I remembered it. But as the years have gone by, our tree has grown with a straightened trunk and now stands above the others around it. I didn’t recognize it and couldn’t help but wonder how the base of the trunk straightened itself out, so I decided to do some research.
As it turns out, I found this on a blog by CLC Tree Services:
“…sometimes a tree gets a little crooked, not because of people or natural disasters, but because it is searching for the best place to grow. It’s called phototropism and it is when a tree grows towards the light…”
And it hit me. That crooked tree is a lot like me, y’all. And maybe, a lot like you.
When we start to grow up, we are surrounded by the voices and opinions and invitations of others, many older than us, to do things that might not be best. We may take a crooked path as we make mistakes and try to find our way. But above us, and around us, without fail, is the Light, Jesus, who is always trying to draw us to Himself. If we continue to seek Him, even though we get turned around and twisted up along the way, we will find Him. Just like my crooked tree.
But here’s the coolest thing. The S shape is still there. Just because my tree straightened up eventually, the bends that had been made over the years did not go away. They remain as a reminder of the growth journey that tree has had.
So, if you are in a crooked place right now…don’t stop looking for Jesus. Don’t stop trying to grow! On this weekend, thousands of years ago, Jesus came for the crooked. For those trying to find their way. For those who have made mistakes…and need the Light to straighten them out. He didn’t die for nothing, and His sacrifice must not be forgotten. He died for you…and for me. For all of us who so desperately need a Savior to straighten us out.
If you are “straightened out” to some degree right now (please know, we will still make mistakes). Don’t forget where you’ve been. Don’t take for granted the One who forgives and saves you over and over again. And don’t keep His gift to yourself. Share what Jesus has done for you, and don’t be afraid to stand boldly above the others as you show them the Light of this world.
And for all of us, Lord please open our eyes to really see others around us. I didn’t recognize my old tree because I was looking for something that was still small and bent. But plants grow. People grow. And by the Lord’s grace and mercy, many of us get straightened out.
Love Jesus. Love others. Be thankful for the crooked places in your life, and use them to grow toward the Light.
Happy Easter season, y’all.
Jer.29:13, 2 Cor.4:7