I saw a quote recently by Thomas S. Monson, but found it was actually an excerpt from a poem called Good Timber by Douglas Malloch. The quote is “Good timber does not grow with ease; The stronger the wind, the stronger the trees”. This is profound to me, as struggle is an important part of life, whether we like it or not. We can embrace it and recognize it for the growth opportunity it is, or we can be negative about it and miserable through the trial. Either way, struggle will come. There are trees that buckle under the wind. Some are uprooted. Some lose branches. When we are rooted in Christ with a firm testimony of His love for us, the winds won’t affect us like that. We may lose a branch here and there when times are tough, requiring healing and faith, but our roots are still good and our trunks still tougher. Many trees have scars. Trees are one of my favorite symbols of ourselves and our lives because they endure much and change much. The seasons bring drastic changes to leaves and branches, either by taking them away or bringing new life. The most majestic of trees have stood the test of time and been through great change. I needed this quote in my life as a reminder that struggle and change and endurance are all part of the plan. With the Lord’s help, we’re all tough enough to make it through any wind that comes our way.
Here is the full poem by Douglas Malloch, with free digital downloads below of the quote!
by Douglas Malloch
The tree that never had to fight
For sun and sky and air and light,
But stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain,
Never became a forest king
But lived and died a scrubby thing.
The man who never had to toil
To gain and farm his patch of soil,
Who never had to win his share
Of sun and sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man
But lived and died as he began.
Good timber does not grow with ease:
The stronger wind, the stronger trees;
The further sky, the greater length;
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.
Where thickest lies the forest growth,
We find the patriarchs of both.
And they hold counsel with the stars
Whose broken branches show the scars
Of many winds and much of strife.
This is the common law of life.