Peeling me like a birch tree

Dear Lord Creator,

Life is hard.
Are you growing me?

I want to grow strong and straight and sure, 
but I feel safer when I'm not growing, not changing, 
not venturing out into new territories. 
Somehow, you know what's best for me. 
You gently peel away my tough exterior, like white bark from a birch tree that hovers over the water's edge.
You unmask my pretense, my pride, my accomplishments--
You tear away what I wear to hide my shortcomings
that actually keeps me from maturity, beauty, and destiny. 
You know that I will not grow unless you pull away my bark and uncover the tender trunk underneath. 
Then you can broaden my perspective-- expand my territory-- 
raise my branches heavenward
to provide shade and protection for others.
You give me the chance to grow 
a little straighter,
a little taller,
a little more beautiful.

But if I resist the peeling,
I will not grow at all.

Psalm 1:1-3
"Blessed is the one . . . whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planed by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither--
and whatever they do prospers."


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