A few days ago I was on the road traveling with my mom to DC to see our Forever First Lady, Michelle Obama on her book tour. While on the road examining the fall foliage, my mother and I just admired in wonder and awe the handiwork of God. It was as though He assumed each detail into consideration for us to behold. As beautiful as the scenery was, I couldn’t help but reflect upon a tree in front of my office back home. I’d been drawn to it for over a week, and I’d failed to take a picture of it. I texted my friend and colleague, and asked her to send me a picture of it. She complied. What struck me about it was that there are three distinct colors apparent in the tree. Little did I know how much of the representation of the tree would be a foreshadowing of Michelle Obama’s narrative (get the book!). We are in fact always responding to change and yet we may find ourselves grounded in a way that enables us to be sustained amidst change.
The tree proudly displays green, red and gold. As I considered the richness of the green, I imagine the quest I am on in terms of my wellness. I’ve not been reckless with my health, but I certainly wasn’t intentional until I found myself faced with two surgeries within two years of each other and the post surgical realities. Since that time, I’ve been thoughtful about what I eat and how I work out, and slowly….how much sleep I get. One other aspect that cannot be undermined is being well mentally. That means learning to love others sometimes from afar. That means determining the extent to which others may be permitted access including self. You see, sometimes the godless part of me attempts to overtake me through attacks in my mind. I battle those inaccurate portrayals of myself, and the lies the enemy attempts to persuade by staying in the Word of God and exercising on my knees. I’m not always successful in the manner by which I measure, but God is always victorious. Remembering and focusing upon this fact, in that He is concerned for our overall wellness, is a process, but one that is well worth the effort. III John 1:2 affirms “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” It is just as important to God as it should be to us.
When I see the red, I consider the toughness and tenacity of trials and tribulations experienced. They have not always been easy, and particularly, extraordinarily difficult in my estimation during 2018, yet, it is the richness, boldness and audacity of the trials that birth the beauty that others (including self) are able to behold. The very color that is most pronounced in the visibility of the tree, is a result of the very thing(s) that may quite possibly cost the most. I Peter 4:12-13 reminds us that, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you; But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”
Finally, the stunning gold represents the sweetness that cannot be underestimated in a world that compels us to miss the moments while focusing on momentum. James 4:14 declares, “Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” As such, we must seek opportunities to practice joy, gratitude, love, truth and peace.
As I reflect upon our glorious weekend with our Forever First Lady and the tree, I am reminded that the merging of the colors make for the entire experience for us to behold. Such is life. Individually, we can see the individual contribution, but it is the compilation that urges us to consider the fact that each aspect contributes to the the tree becoming; just as each experience we are afforded enables us to become what Christ intended. It doesn’t always feel good. There will be some losses along the way, but in the end, if we hold on we are promised to purpose who God intended and needs in the earth. May we continue to be and become.