by Anne Hansen

There is a tree in California’s White Mountains that has been found to be 4,852 years old. Named Methuselah after the oldest man in the Bible, this ancient bristlecone pine was dated by scientists when a hole was bored into its trunk, and they counted the rings in the core sample.

Scientists were also able to determine what years there were droughts, as well as when insects caused damage. Methuselah has been through quite a bit, but it has endured and continued to grow through difficult circumstances and harsh weather.

As James the apostle reminds us in his letter to his fellow Christians, times of trouble can lead to growth: ‘Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow’ James 1:2–4 (NLT).

When your faith is tested, you will find out where your strength lies. Jesus supplies all the strength we will ever need and learning this produces Christian maturity. So, look at the times of drought, abundant rain and pestilence as a chance to learn and grow deeper in your walk with Jesus.

Lutheran Tract Mission (LTM) shares many wide-ranging resources to strengthen and encourage you in times of difficulty. Find a tract to give a friend or family member who may be struggling. Look at our website to find what you need for your personal growth and ministry:


Lutheran Tract Mission (LTM) has many new resources available to view and order. As well as text cards, leaflets, activity books, postcards, bookmarks and stickers with Advent and Christmas themes, LTM has produced Mission-Edge Tracts designed for 20 to 40-year-olds and others exploring Christianity. 

Anne Hansen is Lutheran Tract Mission Development Officer.

Already a subscriber? Click here to login and read this article.
Not a subscriber? Click here to receive stories & upcoming issues in full