Take a look at this little tree and ponder for a while. Go beyond looking at the blosoming tree and look at the source from where it's sprouting. Scratchy surface. Thick, flat, and dry parent base. Rough edges. Everything seems really tough on the inside, yet this little tree breaks out into the surface, green and smiley.
Personally, I believe that this little tree defies the odds to come to the surface. And not just that, it's looking to grow and bear fruits. This little tree represents much of what hope stands for.
One of my beloved songs is the old hymn by Jennie Stout, titled, Oh I often sit and ponder, when the sun is sinking low. The refrain goes this way:
Oh, the future lies before me,
And I know not where I’ll be;
But where’er my path be leading,
Savior, keep my heart with Thee.
Most times, we do not know what the future holds for us. Isn't that faith? But what drives the faith wheel is hope. Hope keeps us motivated against the odds. We're not sure of where we'll be, not sure of how to get there, yet we forge ahead. Most times, the best approach is to sit and ponder. We could be facing the sun as it sinks low, yet we move on. Definitely, the best approach is to ask the Savior to keep our hearts with his. This can apply to any and every circumstance, vocation, or profession, business plans, academic endevors or relationships. Different people experience it in various degrees, but such is the journey of life. We sit and ponder!
This little tree teaches us a great lesson. That rough surface beneath does not stop it from springing up, rather becomes the springboard for growth. That rough surface in your life at this moment is not the end. You may not know what the future holds for you, but that future is there for you. Hope looks not for smoth surfaces and soft landing. Hope springs up like the little tree and then blossoms. In failures and disappointments, weaknesses and struggles.
Is it possible that you're sitting at this moment and pondering, or you know someone who's sitting and pondering about their future; "What exactly does it hold for me?" That's a great question, sometimes a difficult place to be. Rough, tough, maybe anxious, fearful and worried. Take a close look at this little tree again. Admire the depth of its strength. Its determination makes it grow upward. What lies behind can be a part of the story, but the future surely opens up with time. That future is meant to be lived out, so stay green, and hopeful. Learn from the resilience of our little tree-friend.
When you sit and ponder, the secret is to remember this line, "But where’er my path be leading, Savior, keep my heart with Thee." May God bless you with the gift of hope.