The tree struggled for its very existence. As a small seed she had high hopes and dreams. She wanted to grow tall and strong like the Sequoias and have people come from miles around just to see her. Or perhaps she could be made into a bridge that would lead people safely across wild turbulent rivers. Or maybe, just maybe, she could be used to build a great ship or large mansion!
She had many other trees to look up to, role models. How she wished she could be like the trees she had read and heard stories about! The tree that dropped an apple (purposely) onto Isaac Newton's head to inspire his thoughts about gravity. The trees that which held their Creator when he was a baby and a man. What greatness to aspire to!
"If only. . ." her thoughts ran wild as a swift wind picked her up and carried off her to unknown places. Her thoughts were interrupted as she collided with a large wall of dirt. She slid and bounced down the rough dirt surface until finally coming to an abrupt stop in a crevice.
"Where am I?" the little seed wondered. All she could see was a small crack of light above her. There was no more wind available to carry her away, she was too far down in the crevice. But the soil was moist enough so she began to take root, growing and stretching daily towards the sunlight. She pushed and strained to grow tall enough to be able to see out of the crevice, to see where she had landed. Her days and nights were spent between struggling to grow and dreaming of the great things she could do.
Her wooden heart beat faster and faster as her first leaves finally began to peer out over the top of the wooden crevice. Where was she? What would she become? Excitement built up as she looked around. To the one side of her was the same rough dirt wall she had memories of from her trip down. To the other side there was nothing. What? How could that be? All she could see was sky and mountains in the distance. She stretched her leaves and little stem to look downward. Down and down she looked. The distance seemed so vast from the crevice to the nearest real surface. She looked back at the crevice. She hadn't been growing upward! She had been growing out of the side of a cliff! How was a tree supposed to grow on such a vertical edge?
The little seedling did not have much time to ponder her circumstances for the wind on the cliff was great and whipped her fragile stem first in one direction and then in another. Day after day the wind on the outside of the crevice never stopped! It's force was rapid down along the sides of the mountain. The seedling struggled frantically to keep a hold of the ledge. She thought the wind was a terrible force to be reckoned with, that is, until the rains came. The hard cold rain battered against the side of the cliff so hard that it continuously knocked her into the ledge making her muddier and muddier. How much safer it would have been to remain in the crevice and never grow!
But grow she did. Day after day, year after year she forced her way upward and grew into a tree. She was a rather ugly tree, battered and gnarled by wind and rain and being forced to grow on a vertical surface. She was constantly struggling to make her roots deeper so as not to lose hold. All she could see was her own ugliness and weakness. She never realized just how big and strong she was, not even on the day of the accident.
She had gotten used to people passing by her. The ledge where she was growing was also a well worn path, the cliff being one of the safer routes down the mountain. And so when the young boy slipped on the path and ran into her, she never thought it as anything out of the ordinary. The boy's brother yelled and ran towards the ledge before he saw that the tree had caught his younger sibling in its crook. After helping the young fellow up onto the ledge the elder spoke up in relief.
"That tree saved your life!" The older brother exclaimed.
The tree was glad to have been able to help, but to her it was nothing spectacular. She would never be like Newton's apple tree or one of the trees mentioned in churches as her heroes. She was too busy trying to survive.
She often wondered why she had been given such a lot in life. Such a trying and hard existence. She did only what she could, hang on and trust God to help her grow. She would never realize just how much impact her hardships really had. She had been placed in a strategic place by her Creator and the trials served to make her strong, strong enough to hold a falling human boy. A boy who would grow up recalling how God had saved his life and would in turn serve God wholeheartedly. And God used the boy to go to places and reach people in ways that no one else could, even the greatest of trees.