Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Beauty from Adversity

The picture above is one taken by my husband not far down the trail from the Oregon Trail wagon ruts we saw in Guernsey, WY. We rounded a bend in the path and all four of us stopped to admire it. I love how the limbs twist skyward, how it's still sturdy, though stark without any leaves or needles. I wonder if it stood there, sentinal over the wagons passing so close under its outspread limbs.
This tree has seen some adversity. Harsh winters, dry, summers, winds, storms, even death. And yet it has a beauty to it now that it wouldn't have without all those hard times. If this tree had been clothed in green like those that surrounded it, we wouldn't have stopped to look. It would've blended into the background, and we would've passed on by.
It makes me think of the adversity we all face. Illness, uncertainty, roadblocks, rejections. I have friends who are suffering through recent surgeries, through job losses, through loved ones who are injured, ill, or dying, or have recently passed away. Friends have been handed rejections of their work from editors, or been rejected by an agent.
These friends, though certainly touched by adversity, molded by it, forced to endure these hardships, are also made more beautiful by their struggles. These women (and men) have grown closer to the Lord, have come to rely more upon His grace and provision. They are people whose faith makes me take a second look, makes me stop and admire the beauty that God is creating in their lives, the refining elements that are revealing and shaping their characters.
Has hardship revealed and refined your character?


  1. Oh Wow!! I love that picture and the analogy you've shared! It's just so true. . .hardships shape beauty, but not always in the form we think it should take, but beauty nevertheless.

  2. That was beautiful, Erica.

    It's comforting to think of the hard times as the Lord Himself holding us and molding us.

  3. What a thoughtful post! Adversity has certainly made me dig deeper for Truth. The Truth isn't always as I have assumed it to be, nor how I have experienced it before. I'm learning to hold up situations to the light of scripture, and sometimes looking at scripture in a new light. Lots of lessons in adversity.

  4. Love that picture! What a beautiful post. It's lovely to see the Lord's hand in everything.

  5. Absolutely. My faith has grown stronger and my spirit has softened. Great picture!

  6. What a beautiful post, Erica! I love being out in nature, then seeing something that just makes you stop, take it all in and admire it for what it is.