My ascent of the Turtle Head Peak yesterday in Red Rock Canyon gave me the opportunity to see and consider some amazing old trees that thrive on the windy slopes. In specific areas, where the winds seemed to be funneled and intensified, the trees appeared to thrive the most. These are the areas in which I had to bow down as I climbed the trail to the summit. I would guess the gusts were upwards of 40 to 50 mph and capable of blowing me over the precipice. How do these trees thrive in such harsh conditions? Their twisted and hearty trunks stand, almost in defiance to the extreme desert heat and lack of resources.

They are low and compact, finding and taking advantage of every crevice and life-giving deposit of soil. There are not many of them and they do not boast great and lofty branches or leaves. But in the harshest of environments, they provide the rare opportunities for shade and shelter. The aroma from their leaves (or needles) is still with me.

Psalm 52:8-9 NIV
But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever. For what you have done I will always praise you in the presence of your faithful people. And I will hope in your name, for your name is good.

May God give us the grace and strength to thrive as one of these. May others see what God has done to make us stand against the oppositions of life and acknowledge his handiwork!