Bending with the Wind

“…But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry….” (2 Timothy 4:5)

I am especially fond of bamboo trees. You see, they possess this unique ability to withstand the strongest winds and the fiercest storms. How do they do it?

            They bend with the wind.

            No, they don’t try to fight it. They don’t remain stiff with every gust. They don’t stand erect in the face of a typhoon. Instead, they receive the wind and bend with it. No wonder while all other trees are felled by the storm’s rage, the bamboo trees remain standing.

            I remember the bamboo tree today as I read the reading from the second letter of Paul to Timothy:

“…But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry….” (2 Timothy 4:5)

            This passage spoke to me powerfully today. It was as if God was speaking to me directly, encouraging me, exhorting me, and reminding me of my mandate. That He has called me to preach in season and out of season. In good times and in bad. In plenty and in want. In war and in peace. Whether I am affirmed or criticized. Whether I am confident or afraid. Whether life is easy or life is hard. God commands me to be self-possessed in all circumstances and to fulfill my ministry.

            Easier said than done.

            For how can one preach faith in the midst of fear. Or preach salvation when in sin. Or preach love when angry. Or preach hope when in despair.

            Then I remember the bamboo tree. How it adopts to the storm. How it calms itself in the minds of the storm’s rage. How it bends with the wind.

            Maybe that’s what we can do in the midst of our storms.

            For instance, summon the ability to speak of faith by accepting your fears. Find the power in thanking God for His salvation in the midst of your sins. Gain a friend by showing more love when angry. Inspire others by witnessing hope when they all know you have all the reason to be in despair. 

Believe me, when the storm is over and winds die down, you will remain standing because you bend with the wind!

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