At the back of my house, there are woods with tall pine trees that line my property. During a storm, these trees bend and sway with a mighty force that is both awe inspiring and fear inducing. They are beautiful. But a strong gust of wind, a quick snap or letting go at the roots, and at any moment one of these majestic wonders could come tumbling down.
I am so much like these trees, swaying between strength and vulnerability. One minute I am confident, getting my stride; I fist bump and do the Cha Cha (okay, not really the Cha Cha) and feel like I can touch the sky. The next, I face plant, tripping over my shoelaces.
Not a pretty sight.
We would all like to be “up” all the time, to float along like Mohammad Ali, all beauty and finesse and waxing poetic about our life. It’s just not possible. We get punched. The bee stings. And sometimes, we just want to hit the tarp and stay there for a while.
It’s the sway that happens to everyone.
It’s hard to stay planted, to not feel tossed about by circumstances and hurts, deficiencies of resources or affirmations. We feel we are just going through the motions and wonder things like, What in the world is wrong with me?
The truth is, nothing.
God gives us the valley and the mountain top. Each serve their own purpose and neither are intended to stay at for long. We learn things here — like what we should be grateful for, what we can overcome, and who we can count on to to be our traveling companions.
Hopefully, we learn to trust that wherever we are, God is there and He is leading the way. We can know that whatever we are going through is just temporary, and that on the other side, we are somehow better for it.
I don’t know a single person who does not from time to time struggle or question or examine where they are in life. The problem is, when we take our focus off of God, we look around at what the world has to offer and compare ourselves and our life situations with others. This is the danger zone. This is where we start to blame and project and find offense. This is where sin is bred, people leave, and spirals and destruction of all kinds make their marks.
Don’t believe the lies of the world that say you can have it all, along with a drink with a cute little umbrella, and six-pack abs. All of this is meaningless, empty, and a mirage. That’s just not how real life works.
The sway is real. We’re all going to have tough days. And, right after that, we get to have days of sunshine and roses. We just need to persevere, to not despair, to know that God will not leave us nor forsake us. We need to trust that even on our worst days, we will get through it and when we do, we will somehow appreciate how far we’ve come.
It’s okay to have your moments. It’s okay to facilitate and question and have introspection. It’s even okay if once in a while, just to shake things up a bit, you throw yourself a little pity party.
Just don’t stay here.
God wants us to keep growing taller, to be able to touch all that He has for us. He wants for our roots to dig deep within the soil of our faith and to believe that what He has for us is always better than we can imagine.
Sometimes we have to bend a little with life. Just keep your eyes on Him and no matter what, you will be fine.