A Clay Jar

Encouraging, comforting, and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory. (1 Thess. 2:12 NIV)

A Beautiful Tree

I recently spent a night in the backcountry and happened to notice some of the alders that were growing nearby, including one that my hammock was hung from. Now alders are generally fairly straight trees, with small branches. Mature alder looks something like a power pole with branches. And many of them in the neighborhood of my camp did have that look. But the one I focused on mostly, and hung from, bore little resemblance to a power pole.

This tree has not had an easy time of it. The tree appears to have been hit and broken by at least a couple of falling trees. It had to compete for light with some larger Douglas firs in the near vicinity. And it was covered in places with a thick carpet of moss. The river had partially undermined it, leaving roots exposed.

But in the end, we have here a tree that has endured all the hardship that the forest and river have thrown at it and has endured. A tree that has character. One that got my attention in the midst of a company of straight and tall candidates for power poles.

An Example for Us

I really like this tree. Because in spite of being broken, burdened, and undermined, it is beautiful  Of all the alders around my camp, that is the one I would choose to have planted in my yard.

I am sure you have known someone who is very much like this tree. They may have suffered tragedy in their lives. They may be burdened with a heavy load. And may have experienced the storms of life. But in spite of all that, they stand strong. Every time they get knocked down they get back up again. No complaints. No pity parties. And no sulking. Just continuing to grow and make the most of all that comes along.

I don’t know about you, but that is the kind of person I want to have in my life, showing me the way. And it is the kind of person I want to be.


The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.

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