Bend Don’t Break!

Everyone is guaranteed some form of hardship, storms, distress/duress that ultimately forges us into the people God would have us to become. Though not pleasurable experiences, our problems are necessary for our progression from one stage in life to another. The way we deal with these experiences determines how we will come out of them. Some people seem to make it through, scraped up a bit but they come out in one piece. Others, instead, succumb to situations and trials never to come out of them and instead become overcome or swallowed by circumstances. So what is the difference between making it through and remaining stuck in a particular situation?

The answer is simple.  Bend don’t break.

We all have the best laid plans. However, the plans for our life and God’s plans are not necessarily one and the same. Our expectations don’t always transform into our experiences. Delays and disappointments are inevitable. The people who make it through hardships aren’t broken by life’s surprises. Instead, they learn to bend.

Twigs snap. Quick and sudden stress causes them to break into pieces. People can also snap. It is when experiences become so extreme, circumstances are crazy and expectations unmet that we “lose it” and do things we would not do if we were in our “right mind.”

The propensity to bend means that we can weather a storm. We can withstand the course of whatever life throws our way.  It may be uncomfortable, hard and even painful but bending means we won’t become broken by disappointment.  Our attitude determines our outcome when we choose to bend a little.

  Sometimes we have to change our habits. At others, we have to change our minds. And then there are situations where we have to choose to give a little, possibly giving up our own expectations or desires, in order to push forward and even keep peace along our journey.  Being inflexible in our relationships and even our own preconceived ideas only limits us and sets us up to potentially  “snap” under pressure. We should always be willing to bend to some extent by choosing to learn, mature, and submit to God.

Hardening our hearts and an unwillingness to listen to the counsel of others can leave us rigid, frail and easily broken.  Refusing to compromise can leave us frustrated and at odds with ever-changing  circumstances. Flexibility doesn’t dictate that we conform to the world. Flexibility allows us to move with God instead of remaining stuck where we are.

If you want peace of mind, be willing to change it when Divinely directed. If you wish to prosper, set goals but change them when God dictates. We can’t truly prosper out of God’s will. What worked yesterday won’t necessarily work today.  Don’t stay bound to the same ideas or experiences when God is trying to stretch your faith and do a new thing!

Listen when God speaks and then obey accordingly. God has challenged me do things I never would have imagined yet I can definitely say I’much better for it! I’ve been blessed when I chose to follow God instead of my own (sometimes crazy) inclinations.

Bend or Break?

The choice is ours to make!


Ivy is one of my favorite plants for many reasons. However, the trait that I find most appealing is its tendency to endure. This particular plant has endured both drought and record rains. It has also survived scorching temperatures as well as the record lows of just last week. It is not the fastest growing plant I have but it is the hardiest. It has even managed to turn colors in its fight for survival yet it still lives!

In fact, most ivy is hard to kill. You pull it up by the roots and you think it’s gone. But look around in that same area a few months later…and it’s there once more! Its roots dig deep. Its grasp is tenacious. How much better could we be if only we would do the same?

Jesus teaches in Mark 4 about the Word of God and how it is liken to a seed sown on different ground. Sometimes our human failings occur not because we aren’t receptive to the Word of God; it is instead our failure to endure.

“These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.” Mark 4:16-17

Notice, that particular verse does not say if tribulation or persecution arises but when.

We will all experience adversity or trials that come against us. That’s just life. Whatever change you think you need to solve a current problem, that change will most likely have another set of “problems” attached to it. Our goal in life should not be to have a “problem-free” existence.

Instead, it should be to gain maturity in Christ and weather our droughts, storms or whatever we are facing relying on God with faith and having enough hope to stay the course God has for us. It is when we are able to continue through our trials with the proper attitude and finish our race that we are victorious.

My ivy grows slowly, but it continues to grow.

Some things you may be hoping for or working toward may progress slowly but don’t give up on the dreams God has placed within you. If He has given them to you, He has also provided the means to accomplish them.

If you endure.

Joseph endured to see his dream fulfilled. Christ endured that we may live life abundantly. God is with us as well when we trust Him and endure.

“Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end [intended by] the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.” James 5:11

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares [us], and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1 NKJV