C.S. Lewis once said that “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” I’ll freely admit that sometimes it can take serious effort on our part to remember that our extraordinary destiny will someday come to fruition if we just hang in there and we don’t let the hardships stop us. These last few months it’s taken me more effort than ever before to remember that, but the older I get and the more I struggles I endure, the more I come to recognize that while hardships may knock us down we do not have to let them knock us out. As long as we are still living we can make the choice to get up and keep pushing ahead. The more hardships we face with courage and faith, the wiser and stronger we become…the more prepared we are for our extraordinary destiny.
I love this poem because it illustrates the point so beautifully:
The Oak Tree (by Johnny Ray Ryder Jr.)
A mighty wind blew night and day.
It stole the oak tree’s leaves away,
Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark
Until the oak was tired and stark.
But still the oak tree held its ground
While other trees fell all around.
The weary wind gave up and spoke,
“How can you still be standing, Oak?”
The oak tree said, “I know that you
Can break each branch of mine in two,
Carry every leaf away,
Shake my limbs, and make me sway.
But I have roots stretched in the earth,
Growing stronger since my birth.
You’ll never touch them, for you see,
They are the deepest part of me.
Until today, I wasn’t sure
Of just how much I could endure.
But now I’ve found, with thanks to you,
I’m stronger than I ever knew.”
Have a beautifully blessed Monday!
~Amy Rees Anderson