The Bristlecone Pine
The warmth of the sun promised a great day of hiking. Eager tourists and hikers hopped on the bus provided by the National Park Service. The narration describing the surrounding habitat played as the bus hugged the mountainous curves. About 30 minutes into the two hour drive, the bus became more chilly than warm, and as the climb continued, the passengers began reaching for their coats. By the time the bus reached the top peak where the tour started, the terrain had changed, and the whistling wind now carried snow.
Stepping off the bus, the crowd huddled while the tour guide began speaking about the difference between the terrain at the base of the mountain and what was surrounding them now. Walking to a short and misshapen tree, the guide explained why that tree was so special among all the species surrounding them. In fact, this tree was growing out of what looked like a boulder. The bristlecone pine, he explained, is the oldest lived tree in the world. Rather than wither and die, this tree thrives in harsh conditions and requires little from soil. This species produces the hardest wood, and in really tough growing years, it might not even add a ring to its width. But, it lives on. It defies everything we know about what a tree needs to grow.
When life is giving you anything but an easy time, think of the bristlecone pine. Hold on. You can thrive in harsh conditions. You can produce even when work, friends, and family aren’t encouraging. The prevailing climate can’t take you down.
The Bible teaches us to do exactly what this lesson in nature illustrates…”Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised (Hebrews 10:23, KJV).” In the times of our lives when conditions are hardest, hold fast. Like the bristlecone, we can outlive bad circumstances and still grow. We know that He is faithful as promised.