Mackay, shares that the two trees represent the lives of people. The winds of conflict and adverstity cause people to put down deep roots in their lives. Lou Holtz, hall of fame football coach, said “Show me someone who has done something worthwhile and I’ll show you someone who has overcome adversity.” It is true.
God uses conflict to deepen our roots and accomplish his purposes. The life of Joseph in the Bible is a great example of this. At age 17, Joseph was sold by brothers to slave traders. They made it look like he was killed by wild animal to their father. After working as a slave for several years, Joseph is falsely charged by the owner’s wife and ends up in jail. At age 30, he interpreted Pharaoh’s dream and is promoted to second in command of Egypt. Nine years later, Joseph’s brothers come to Egypt to buy grain – 22 yrs after they sold him.
Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 5 And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. 6 For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. 7 But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
8 “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. 9 Now hurry back to my father and say to him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don’t delay. 10 You shall live in the region of Goshen and be near me—you, your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and all you have. 11 I will provide for you there, because five years of famine are still to come. Otherwise you and your household and all who belong to you will become destitute.’
Joseph let the conflict deepen his roots and accomplish God’s purposes. Bitterness, revenge and anger were not a part of Joseph’s life.
Harvey MacKay, wrote of four people who overcame adversity and conquered conflict. Author and poet Maya Angelou was 3 years old when her parents separated. She was raped at the tender age of seven and as result did not speak for nearly 6 years. Angelou published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, contributed to many plays, movies, and television shows.
Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and his family were forced to leave Germany in 1930’s due to the Nazi movement. He was in New York City and could not speak English. Kissinger entered the US army. He earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate from Harvard.
Carol Burnet, actress, comedian, singer and writer had alcoholic parents. She was raised by her grandmother in an impoverished area of Hollywood.
Hank Aaron, the baseball player who broke Babe Ruth’s home run record, grew up in poor family picking cotton. His family could not afford baseball equipment, so Aaron practiced hitting bottle caps with sticks.
Let God use the conflicts in your life to deepen your roots.
Let God use the conflicts in your life to accomplish His purposes.