When Frustration and Defeat are God’s Opportunity

Photo by V. Miller (Unsplash)

A small bud rested at the end of a thin branch. It had been perched there since I placed the young pear tree in its pot.

Months passed and nothing changed, no sign of growth or life – just that single bud. 

I had exhausted my gardening skills, carefully protecting the tree from the unpredictable spring weather and fertilizing the poor thing, attempting to encourage it to sprout. At one point, I even dug it out of the pot to examine its root ball and with no indication of new growth; I shoved it back in the pot and called the nursery.

The young woman on the other end of the phone, listened patiently as I shared my dilemma and when I finally took a breath, she said in a consoling tone, “The tree is dead; just bring it back to the nursery.” I thanked her for the permission to end my frustration and hung up the phone, my gardening ego was badly bruised.

Weeks went by and I ignored the tree, trying to avoid its ultimate demise.

But this morning, I reviewed my gardening “To-Do” list and found scribbled at the top of the page, “trash pear tree.”

Today was the day.

I slipped on my boots, tied my favorite apron around my waist, and made my way down the deck stairs to the garden. Turning the corner towards the pear tree, I caught a glimpse of trunk and branch – but wait…

In the place of that single bud were several small leaves. They stood defiantly against the blue of the morning sky.

The tree was alive.

I was shocked!

I entered the garden prepared to snatch the pear tree from its soil and toss it into the compost pile, but time had changed things.

Photo by Unsplash

I wonder if you have ever found yourself facing circumstances that you have unsuccessfully attempted to fix. Perhaps, you’ve petitioned God, developed thoughtful plans, or sought counsel from trusted family members and friends. Yet, weeks, months, maybe years have passed and there is no movement towards reconciliation or restoration.

When it came to that little pear tree, I kept trying to help it overcome the trauma of the transplant. I wanted so badly for the beauty that hid just below its woody exterior to shine through. But my timing wasn’t right. I ultimately had to surrender to God’s natural rhythm. Let Him do what He does best, bring new life out of what appears to be dead.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe the fertilizer provided needed nutrition, and protecting the sapling against the harsh winds and freezing night temperatures helped. But in the end, it was God’s timing, His provision, that ultimately resulted in a beautiful transformation.

There is scripture found in the book of Romans that encourages us to live this surrendered, God-dependent life. Romans 12:1-2 states,

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”

– (The Message)

If you are stuck in the cycle of trying to repair and restore the brokenness in your life, my prayer is that you recognize that God has the solution. Yes, He wants you to do your part – pray, seek Godly counsel, and take the steps He leads you to take. But once you’ve done your part, wait for His timing. The solution may not look anything like what you had planned or hoped for but you can trust that it ultimately will be the best for you.

With a full-hearted surrender to His timing, His plan will bring true transformation.

Remember, you are His BeLoved.

Be Blessed,


In Over My Head (Crash Over Me) (Live) – YouTube Music

Photo by D. Luig (Unsplash)

4 thoughts on “When Frustration and Defeat are God’s Opportunity

  1. Allison, this experience is so beautifully written, and so beautifully accurate! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, vulnerable feelings and His Word to tie it all together. ❤️


  2. Marlys Lawry

    Such a great reminder, Allison: “But my timing wasn’t right. I ultimately had to surrender to God’s natural rhythm. Let Him do what He does best, bring new life out of what appears to be dead.” Thank you.


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