The city in distress, the people on the edge of annihilation. The superhero swoops in, an epic fight ensues. Despite the superhero always winning, it looks dicey for a bit. But he or she rallies and delivers the fatal blow. Rescue! Restoration! Rebuilding…all in an hour and a half or less.
Don’t you wish real life worked like this?
Quick, easy, assured.
Nope, real life demands more of us. Real life demands that we change in order to change our world.
Consider for a moment the growth of a tree. It starts out as a little seed, putting out roots before it ever laboriously pushes to the surface. A weak seedling, so easily trampled, is the start of a gigantic tree. It isn’t given an instant victory over the harshness of the winter, the heat of the sun, the risk of drought, the trampling of man and animals. But once grown, it provides shelter and protection to those from whom it was once at risk. The cold, heat, sun, and drought become part of what makes the tree strong and resilient.
I don’t know about you – I wish I could have the superhero fix to all things problematic. Fix the ills and injustice in as much time as it takes to make a meal. But I know that God is making me into something as sturdy and resilient as a giant Redwood, that can keep growing years after it’s been hit by lightning. It just takes time – time for the cold winds to blow, time for the hot sun to scorch, time for the drought to force my roots to look deeply for water… and when those roots have spread out and dug in, I will have a base to withstand the ills and to fight the injustice. I will have the strength to not wither at the first sign of dissent.
Virus. Racial Injustice. Job Loss. Brutality. Wildfires. Backstabbing. Attack.
Can I be the seedling that rises through this mess, becoming a towering place of shelter and protection? Instead of bitterness and worry shriveling my life into nothingness, can I become a force to be reckoned with?
Lord, I want an easy fix, an instant end to all the trouble. But will you use all that we are experiencing to make us into a better, more loving, more compassionate force? Will you take our tiny, vulnerable seedlings of hope and faith? Will you grow us into a great forest of unity and redemption?
Lisa Project, . Tree Grow Time Lapse & Reverse. YouTube, 2017. Film. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5Ob2o7Rnao