Planting 130 trees last week made me think of Tom Hanks’ line from the movie “The Money Pit”: “We have weak trees.”

Due to unexpected circumstances, our planting was delayed and, as a result, some of the bare-root stock didn’t look too healthy by the time we got them in the ground. Thus, “weak trees.”

And we live in an extremely windy part of northwest Iowa. I’ve read that exposing young trees to very harsh conditions makes them stronger. So between the delayed planting, the brisk winds, and my own black thumb, these trees have been treated cruelly. And the winters in Iowa will add more stress. (I heard of one man who would go out and beat his trees once a week or so. I refuse to go that far.)

I am hoping they all survive, since I don’t relish the thought of having to replace them. But when they grow up, this group of trees should be very strong because of what they have endured.

While we don’t ask or wish for the struggles in our lives anymore than our trees did, every wind that blows into our lives, every bleak winter of the soul, and each time we feel neglected contributes to strengthening us. But only if we put our roots deep into the soil of God’s Word and get our refreshing rain from His presence.

I have to remind myself daily that it is God’s power that gives me strength to endure the stress of living on this earth. And if He allows storms to batter me, His purpose is to strengthen me so that He is glorified.

I don’t want weak trees–or weak knees. I’m counting on God to give me His strength. How about you?