Rhythms of Grace, Weekly Devotional

The refinement that happens when a struggle comes into your life is pure gold. (That’s right…pure gold!) The process of focusing your eyes and praise on a forever good and faithful God in the midst of a struggle is an offering that we can only give Him on this side of eternity. It is a sweet sound in His ear, producing a beautiful offering that is unlike anything we can give when things are simple and smooth-sailing.

Navigating through tension produces some serious character. I can testify first hand that the one recognized as being the best to work for, are those who have worked and struggled to get there through countless difficult personal and professional challenges.   

These leaders have managed for years through many levels of tension. They have succeeded and failed. They have bounced back and learned from their mistakes. You may have heard this skill described as resiliency, that we actively seek out in the next generation talent is loads of this “bounce-back” factor.

Resiliency is one of the most needed qualities one can have. Resilient individuals are the ones open enough to receive tough feedback, listen, learn, and try again.  

In the middle of the struggle, it is important for us to realize the gift that has been given to us and reframe our potential opportunity. Only in the struggle can we develop resiliency. Quite possibly the last thing you want in someone you trust is one who has only experienced and led through good times. I think of a palm tree and the critical importance of its strong, deep roots. After all, what is the value of a stunningly tall, beautiful palm tree that becomes uprooted at the first sign of a tropical storm?  

A tree needs to be exposed to winds that seek to push and pull it out of the ground so that it can stand without support. As it encounters winds, the tree will send new growth to its roots and stabilize itself more deeply in the ground.  

We often get excited to see evidence of a tree’s growth in its leaves, flowers, or fruit (aka, the showy stuff), but it is really the growth below the ground that is the most important factor in the longevity and stability of a tree.

“For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:8 NKJV