Lesson of the Gnarled Tree

A Student of Christian Science was reminded of how Jesus frequently withdrew from the multitude to the solitude of the desert or mountains to commune with God. He had gone to the mountains for a period of much-needed spiritual refreshment and was slowly ascending a trail. His thoughts were so filled with self-pity, as he compared his apparently difficult mental journey with his laborious climb up the slope, that he failed to enjoy the invigorating freshness of the balsam-scented breeze and the picturesque beauty of the panorama around him.

Suddenly he stopped and raised his eyes. A short distance ahead a solitary pine tree stood on the crest of a ridge. Its top was torn and twisted by the buffeting of many storms. It looked almost grotesque. Wearily he turned and looked down the mountainside to the protected valley far below. There all was serene. Did this symbolize the security, affluence, and peace for which he yearned? Perhaps!

Then, returning his gaze to the lone tree, he noticed that the gnarled trunk was sturdy, and that the roots clung tenaciously to the rocky ridge. It seemed to symbolize the security of spiritual strength, and illustrated the truth of Mrs. Eddy's statement in Science and Health (p. 410): "Every trial of our faith in God makes us stronger. The more difficult seems the material condition to be overcome by Spirit, the stronger should be our faith and the purer our love." The more severe the storms of mortal mind, the more firmly should our faith cling to the rock of Truth. Thus each trial faced with Truth brings us added strength and a purer love for God and man.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

Applying Christian Science
November 2, 1935

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.