As we drove down the snow-covered highway, I watched out my window as the scenery slipped by. Some of the trees had a few brown leaves still hanging on the branches. I wondered how the brittle leaves survived the ice, snow, and wind this winter has inflicted on them. There were large powerful looking trees that lost their fight to the wintry forces. What was helping those brittle leaves hang on? Maybe the leaf stalk? Pure luck? I’m not sure why I found it so amazing and why I spent any time trying to figure it out.
I knew there’s surely some scientific reason, but those sort of things tend to put my metaphorical-thinking brain into overdrive. My curiosity into finding the real reason quickly dwindled and turned into a pondering of strength and resilience.
I recently celebrated my fortieth birthday. There are many things I could share about my life and things I’ve learned. Strength, though, is one thing I feel I know something about and is something that can change someone’s perspective on everything.
When I was younger, I never felt like I was tough enough for this world. I tried, I pretended, but eventually I realized there really is no such thing as a strong person. There are only those who act strong. Once I accepted this I saw the power of weakness and it helped deepen my faith. It became more understandable to me, I guess is the best way to describe it. There was no longer a need to even try to be strong anymore. I no longer needed to pretend to be something I never could authentically be. I could just rely on God’s strength: the only real strength there is.
God’s strength gives me, a brittle leaf, the power to withstand anything. How amazing is that?