On a recent trail hike I noticed a madrone tree branch above my head. I was so impressed by what I saw that I snapped a picture. The image of the twisted branch caught my attention because it had so obviously made a u-turn in its growth pattern. Like other tree branches, it started out growing up and outward as normal branches do in their life cycle, but at some point this branch was injured and began to grow in the opposite direction. As the branch healed, and eventually recovered from its wound, it resumed a normal growth pattern.
Like this madrone tree, we were originally created by God to grow up and outward – towards Him and His destiny for our lives. The sin and brokenness we encounter, by living in this world, can mess up a wonderful life-plan and cause the patterns of our lives to resemble something other than God’s original intent. Wounds in life are only fatal if neglected.
I asked myself today, “Is there any place in my life that I am carrying an unresolved wound?” If so, I am not growing up and outward – that part of my life is actually dying and mutating downward into someone God never intended me to become. All wounds must be given to the Wound-Healer Himself through confession, repentance and trust. When we give these things to God we immediately change the direction of our lives and return to the healthy growth patterns God had in mind when he brought us into this world.