“What is crooked cannot be made straight, And what is lacking cannot be numbered” (Ecclesiastes 1.15 NKJV).
I went to Moody Gardens in Galveston, Texas, with my family. One of the three pyramids in the Moody Gardens is a rainforest. We got to see many types of tropical plants, fish and animals; and my kids’ eyes absorbed the new and exciting sights. Needless to say, I took a bunch of photos and even caught a monkey scaring a woman on video, which I gladly emailed to her.
The rainforest pyramid was filled with exotic foliage, and the shade provided by the drapes of green was nice in the mid-August heat. As we spiraled to the center of the rainforest, I noticed that the tip of the pyramid flooded with light, and directly below this apex trickled a beautiful man-made waterfall that flowed into a whirling rock-studded pond where birds lounged. Dense growths of trees surrounded this pond, but the cement area encasing the water prevented any plants from growing directly under the sunlight.
Tall palm trees outlined the cemented path, stretching high in order to capture some of the sun’s rays funneled through the center of the pyramid. But I noticed one palm tree decided to find its light in a totally different way. Instead of growing straight up, it grew sideways for about 10-15 feet. Then once it made it to the clearing by the pond, it started growing up again toward the tip of the pyramid where sunlight poured in. This tree defied all odds, leaving the other trees to fight for the sun. It grew its trunk from the perimeter of the pyramid right into the center, and we had to walk around or duck under it in order to exit the rainforest.
I stared at the palm tree for several moments. It was about half as tall as the other trees, but it was more than likely longer than of all them. I knew its roots clung hard to the soil beneath it, so it could hold the weight of its horizontal growth. Although this tree had the same soil, root system and placement as the other palm trees, it grew crooked for years to find its own light. This tree had a purpose beyond the crowd, and it chose a different path to find its destiny.
For many of us, the purpose growing in our lives is so different from where we started that God has to bend us, so we can reach our destiny. He doesn’t want to give us new roots, because our families, backgrounds and experiences become the strength that makes us cling onto to Him. We want to grow straight up like everyone else; but, by no fault of our own, we have “crooked” behaviors, thoughts and standards that cause us to have great lack in the area God is calling us to. And the only way God can “straighten” our lives in agreement with His design is to break, bend and stretch us into the person we are to become.
But how stunning is the life that has been transformed by God! How strong the person who allows God’s hand to change him! This person may not seem as “tall” as everyone else, but the distance he has come can only be described as a breathtaking. And when this person has exhausted all his strength, energy and patience in years of reaching sideways, God will finally declare the time to grow straight up. This person will not hesitate. His eyes will be full of light (understanding), his resolution hard as diamonds and his determination fueled for the race.
He will be wise as King David claiming the throne for his anointed family line, confident as Joseph telling the most powerful man alive how to save his country and zealous as Paul proclaiming the Good News to a world shrouded in darkness. He will be unstoppable, and he will blaze a trail that will lead many to Christ. He will break away from blinding vines of this world, and people will not recognize him. His roots will be closely linked to theirs, but his life will be beyond their two-dimensional thinking. And he will declare to the gaping onlookers the glory, the power, the strength and the love of Christ; and they will know that we serve a mighty God!
“I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, And crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, And not forsake them” (Isaiah 42.16 NKJV).