I was reading a write-in gardening advice column from a magazine the other day and one question in particular caught my eye. The person asked why, when they staked a new tree they planted, it still grew crooked.
The columnist explained that stakes can sometime cause more harm than good. It went on to say; “In fact, it is only by being exposed to the elements-without the aid of stakes-that most trees develop the mechanisms that they need to become healthy and strong.”
I see a spiritual correlation. Sometimes we too grow better when exposed to the elements. When a child first learns to walk, a point comes where you have to let go of their hand. Yes, they will fall down at first but that’s part of the muscle building process. The wobbling will give way to steadiness as they work through the obstacles inside their own body like inadequate coordination and strength.
Sometimes we complain bitterly when adversity hits. I could win an Oscar at whining for some of mine. Rather, maybe we should be thankful that a “stake” is not always readily at hand to lean on. The time comes when God steps back a little so we can become stronger. Scripture says; “He trains my hands for battle” (2 Samuel 22:35) and hands that do battle better not be weak!
We can all rest assured that God is always hovering around us just as the parent watching their child learn to walk. He is smiling with each step we take. The “stake” will only impede us in the long run. If you want to grow up straight and tall in the spiritual realm, don’t second guess God if he plants you somewhere without a stake.