Every year during fall, Lee Canyon wears a unique beauty. It remains mostly green after the summer rain but starts to have beautiful yellow spots in September. During fall, only the sporadic aspen trees change color and become yellow. The aspen trees stand out and become an attraction; not because aspen trees are rare in the US but because only a few of them exist at this location of the canyon. There are some lessons to learn.
1. What made the aspen trees so special is the kind of surrounding they are in. They would have been ordinary if they were at a forest full of aspen trees. At times, you may think what you have is ordinary until you get to the right place. The challenge is finding that right place where your will make a difference and find contentment. Moving to a new environment is often scary. But if you trust that the Lord, through His providence, will guide you to the right place, moving shouldn't be scary. You have his promise. "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you (Ps 32:8 NIV).
2. Don’t be afraid of a place where you may feel a stranger, you may be treasured more. It has happened in the Bible many times, Joseph rose to the second highest position in Egypt after he was sold as a slave. Daniel became a top ranking official after he was taken as a captive to Babylon, the most powerful kingdom at that time. You will never be a stranger at a place where God has shown up ahead of you. The good news is that he is omnipresent. There is no place hidden from His sight. There is no difficult place beyond his reach. He says, I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron (Is 45:2 NIV).
3. The fleeting beauty of the aspen trees is part of the process of losing leaves. There is always a loss in some aspect while striving for success. Don't be frustrated, look forward to the next season, fall is coming again with its beauty. Our journey as Christians isn't always about victory, there will be challenges on the way. But the Lord will never let you down if you keep trusting in Him.
"Do not rejoice over me, my enemy;
When I fall, I will arise;
When I sit in darkness,
The LORD will be a light to me."
Micah 7:8 (NKJV)
4. It is possible to be different yet harmoniously blend with your surrounding like the aspen trees. When you find yourself different from those in your environment, think about what your uniqueness will potentially contribute. There may be a reason why God put you in that position.
"There is one body, but it has many parts. But all its many parts make up one body. It is the same with Christ. 1We were all baptized by one Holy Spirit. And so we are formed into one body. It didn’t matter whether we were Jews or Gentiles, slaves or free people. We were all given the same Spirit to drink. So the body is not made up of just one part. It has many parts (1 Cor. 12-14).
5. And if you happen to be like the evergreen trees, be content with your role of letting others shine. It is a gift to nurture and support others behind the scenes.
"A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed" (Proverbs 11:25).
What difference has it made in your life to know that you are precious in the sight of God? Is your faith-based self-worth important in in your social-interaction?
Is it possible to have an unshakable confidence as a child of God yet be a humble servant who is a blessing to others? Would you like to prayer for it?