December 4, 2017
The Straight Way
Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked? – Ecclesiastes 7:13
Cultured evergreens were planted as far as the eye could see, seemingly waiting for someone to come by and choose them for Christmas trees. There were firs and gallant nobles on this tree farm our family visited several years ago. After looking through what felt like the whole forest, a perfect tree was finally found and cut down. When we brought it into the house we realized once again how wonderfully shaped it was and how tall and straight it looked.
Soon we set it carefully in a giant tree stand to prepare it for decorating. We stood back and looked at its outstretched arms, eagerly waiting adorning. It was then we noticed something was not right: our beautiful tree seemed to be leaning. It looked crooked at the base. We all worked at turning it and twisting its enormous trunk so it would stand up tall and straight, but the tree refused to cooperate. After endless tips and turns, we came to the conclusion that the bottom of the tree would have to be re-cut to correct the problem. We could have chosen to just leave it crooked, but then every time we saw it we would know something was wrong, and we would probably worry about it falling, as well. So, we evened the tree’s base and placed it back in the stand. Instantly we noticed the difference. It was perfectly straight!
Once the tree had been corrected, it looked so much better. I felt more at peace, no longer worrying about it tipping over. It reminded me of how good we feel when we take care of a spiritual problem that God brings to our attention. As Christians, it is important that there is no “crookedness” in our daily living—no bitterness or resentment in our hearts, and no pride or selfishness in our attitudes. We need to have testimonies that are upright and straight.
If we try to ignore a problem that God has brought to our attention, we will find that the crooked way is full of pitfalls. When our spiritual lives are awry, it is harder to pray and receive answers from God. Our communication with Him, which is our source of strength and comfort, is hindered. This cannot be fixed by looking at the situation from another angle; the solution is to ask God to take care of the problem at its root. He is the only One who can make everything in our hearts perfectly straight, and we feel so much better when He does!
This Christmas season, when we see trees standing straight and tall, let’s remember to check our spiritual standing. We want to make sure our hearts are beautifully upright and straight, that we might bring glory to His name.