There are many ways to think about trees. Some feel trees are spectacular parts of nature, but others consider them a nuisance because they either want to make room for other things or they fall down on precious property with weather or aging conditions.  Others look at trees as providers of shade on warm days or as very fun to climb or hang a swing from or put a tree house in for play. Some use trees for art and change the direction of the growth to provide unusual and artistic forms to the trees. I have seen this in Key West as well as many Asian countries.

In addition, some feel trees are home to many birds and small critters like squirrels and, my personal favorite, at the Cologne Zoo in Germany, fun for the elephants starts after the holidays because they are fed all the unsold Christmas trees – soooo, the elephants see the tree as a delicious snack!

Where am I going with this? Well, I think life is a matter of perspective – not only about trees, but I also relate this to my difficulties. Most of the time, I see my trials as the worst thing that could ever happen to me and wish difficulties never happened. If I change my perspective just a tad – a major over hall for me –  perhaps I can see them differently. I have decided that I need to turn every worry, job loss, brothers and sisters struggling, car keys being locked in the truck, loss of health or a loved one, and all the other little things on my ‘what can go wrong today’ list  into an opportunity to see the greatness of God. I want to see for myself His faithfulness, kindness, love and care, and attention to every little detail in my life.

I admit that I have never been fond of James 1.2-4 – “Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.  But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.”

God’s Word goes on to promise, “If anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask God … and it will be given…” I sure do need wisdom, so I ask the Father for wisdom about how to view the daily struggles and how to see Him in everything.

Prov 24.20 tells me “(my) steps are ordered by the Lord.” He is in control of the Universe, but He is also in control of every step I take. Even if I think I have taken a bad one, He makes my “crooked paths straight.” (Isaiah 42.16)

I also have the assurance that “God has said, ‘I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down relax My hold on you)! Assuredly not!'”  (Hebrews 13.5) Amen.

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