We live near a forest of Gum Trees growing tall and thin. Earlier this year a major thunder and lightning storm hit that bent the trees over. The rain and wind were too strong and these trees didn't have enough strength or support to stand up to it.
This isn't God's intended design for the trees. They should grow straight and tall. God has a plan and design for us as well. (Jer. 29:11) He never promised an easy life. Storms will come (I Thes. 3:3), sometimes hitting so hard we find it difficult to stand up or see past the damage.
Most of these trees are still growing, but won't reach their full potential...when harvested, their wood will be bent...this can happen to us too. Unlike the trees, we have a choice - work through the damage, finding a new awareness of God's purpose for us, or stay stuck.
In my journey I've recognized the joy of choosing to look with God at the damage, let Him bring healing and restoration - to see the good He wants to bring. The trees serve as an ongoing reminder that it's my choice after the storm hits.