Why Isn’t Life Working The Way You Hoped?

feast sunsetWhy is it so many of us never seem to get to where we want to be in life? What is it that keeps us from reaching our dreams? Why is it that so many of God’s children have so little belief in their potential?

Can you imagine if God saw us like many of us see ourselves? What chance would any of us have making it into His Kingdom? God wants us to dream, and to go after those dreams. He wants us to be lights and to help lift and build others. But I have to ask, how can we be lights, or help lift and build others when we don’t believe in our own God given potential?

If God gives us a gift and we don’t exercise that gift to help serve others, then we squander that gift. Self-doubt and negative thinking is polar opposite to what God wants for us, but it plagues so many of us. I say that from experience. We dream of being a writer, a musician or whatever, but self-doubt and negative thinking tell us we don’t have what it takes. Why do we listen?

If you have children, do you judge and see them according to their shortcomings, or do you see the great value and potential in them? Why do we not cut ourselves the same slack that we cut for our children and others?

We get stuck listening to negative chatter and forget that God has a plan for each of us. We just need to start seeing ourselves they way He does.

With that said, I’d like to share The Tale of Three Trees with you. It’s an awesome parable that shows God has a special plan for each of us. When we don’t see ourselves as God sees us, we hamstring that plan. God wants us to be successful in all parts of our lives, but we have to remove the self-imposed shackles we put on ourselves.

Drink in this parable and see if it doesn’t help you see things a bit differently.

‘The Tale of Three Trees’

Three little trees stood high upon a mountain discussing their dreams for the future. The first little tree looked up at the dazzling night sky and said, “I want to carry the treasure of kings and queens. I want to be beautiful. I want to be filled with all the riches in the world.”

The nearby stream caught the second little tree’s eye. “I want to be a mighty sailing vessel,” he said. “I want to sail in the roaring oceans, roam the high seas, and deliver kings and queens safely to their destinations.”

The third little tree loved the mountaintop. “I want to stay right here and grow and grow and grow,” she said. “I want the people that pass by to look at me touching heaven and think of God.”

One day, many years later, three lumberjacks came to help the three trees with the next season of their lives.

The first tree, now beautiful, was cut down. “I will become the most beautiful treasure chest,” he thought. “I will get to hold all of the world’s riches.”

The mighty second tree was cut down. “I will now sail the roaring oceans,” thought the second tree. “I will be the mightiest of all sailing vessels.”

The third tree, with her branches stretched toward heaven, was also cut down. Together with the other two trees, she was taken down the lovely hillside.

The first tree arrived at a carpenter’s shop. The beautiful tree was aglow with excitement. But he wasn’t made into a treasure chest. The skillful carpenter made the beautiful tree into an ordinary feeding trough.

The second tree was brought to a shipyard. The mighty second tree thought, “Now I will be the most vigorous of vessels.” But the strong second tree was made into a simple little fishing boat.

The third tree was brought to a lumberyard. There she was made into beams and put aside. “Why did this happen?” thought the third tree. “All I ever wanted was to touch heaven.”

As the weeks passed, their dreams began to fade from memory. However, one magical night brought the first tree’s dream to life. A young mother put her newborn into the trough.

“This manger is perfect,” said the mother to her husband. And the first tree knew he was cradling the most important treasure ever.

One night the fishing boat was used by a tired traveler and his friends. They quickly fell asleep, and the small boat floated out to sea. The sea became rough, and a thunderstorm was brewing. This frightened the second tree. If only he were a mighty vessel and could withstand the force of the storm!

The traveler was awakened by the storm, and he stretched out his arms and said, “Peace.” The sea became calm and the thunderstorm vanished. It was then that the second tree realized he was carrying the Almighty King.

One morning, the third tree was taken by soldiers and carried through a hostile mob. She trembled with fear and distaste as a man’s hands were nailed to her. But three days later the sun rose. The earth was full of joy. She realized that everything had changed because of God’s love.

The first tree was made beautiful.

The second tree was made mighty.

The third tree made people think of God.

We need to start seeing ourselves through spiritual eyes the way God sees us. If He has called us to a better way, who are we to doubt that calling? Who are we to not strive to be and do our best at what God has called us to do? So, what will become of your tree?

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  • Great post Mike! Ironically, I have been thinking some about this very thing. Why do I/we see ourselves as others think we are or as we think we are when God says, “See yourselves as I see you.” We would surely begin to look at ourselves and our lives differently and with meaning and purpose. Good to see you back my friend.

    • Mike

      Truer words were never spoken. Sometimes I forget how God seems me, and that’s when I start failing him. Good to hear from you Bill. Are you getting more riding weather where you’re at?

      • I have been able to get out last week and yesterday. I rode 13 miles last week for the first time since knee surgery in November. It felt good. Our weather was up and down but I rode when it was up (in the 40s). Thanks for asking Mike

  • Great post, my friend. I love that story. And I’m with you, we all have a story and it has a happy ending that we’re called to share with the rest of the world… it is why we were born! One of many reasons, but probably the most important. We shared our story with our children in love, now the world. Thanks, Mike.

    • Mike

      That powerful little story is helping me get back on track. Good to hear from you Floyd.

  • The three trees…been a while since I read that one…never fails to stir my heart though. I am working on my testimony to give at a retreat I am speaking at. I think I might read this three tree story…fits perfect for what I am speaking on. Thanks .

    • Mike

      It’s amazing how simple yet powerful that story is. Thanks!