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  • Jay Steele

Perseverance – “Don’t Let the World Squeeze You into Its Mold”

Years ago, when I was teaching a Sunday School lesson on Romans 12:2, the illustration of the world squeezing you into its mold was a waffle iron with the top and bottom being the hemispheres of our earth. Handles had been attached to both hemispheres and the internal mold was in the shape of a human. As the hemispheres would come together, they would squeeze the person into the shape the world desires.

That is an effective way to visualize Romans 12:2. But another is the tree seen below that caught my eye one day on my walk through the woods. The tree and a wisteria vine grew together over the years Through the years the tree expanded as it added new rings. But the wisteria vine did not expand at the same rate and pressured the tree. The pressure was so great that the tree could not expand where the vine was but was able to squeeze out in areas absent from the vine.

One would think that a tree may not be able to overcome the pressure of the vine and die. But that did not happen in this case The tree and the vine grew together over the years despite the pressure of the vine. Finally, the vine may have died, and the tree just kept on growing All that pressure did not stop it!

The lesson from the pressured tree: Perseverance. No matter what pressures you may be facing; no matter how the world is trying to squeeze you into its mold; no matter how tight things may get: keep growing, keep pushing on, persevere! In the end you may have scars, but you will be stronger for it. And you will have a story to tell as others look at you and see how you have succeeded.

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