read to feed the soul

Written by FBJ Women for Women

January 14, 2021

by: Mysti Chustz

What Made You Crooked?

What made you crooked, Mr. Tree? I ask this everyday as I walk past this peculiar tree in my neighborhood…as if he might answer me.

He has a story, though. I know it. What happens in the growth process that makes a living thing take a sharp 90-degree turn? I don’t know what happened in this tree, but I know that life happens. It has happened in me, it has happened in you. Crookedness remains.

But will you look past that crooked spot and see what happened next? This tree did not die. No…far from it. Straight, purposeful growth is what happened after the crooked.

This tree has a story.

I’m reminded of John the Baptist as he prepared the world for Jesus. Though they couldn’t understand, he attempted to tell what Jesus was coming to do for the world. He was coming to make crooked things straight.

“Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways. All will see the salvation of God.” Luke‬ ‭3:4-6‬ ‭‬‬

I always read that verse visualizing that God straightens out what is crooked. He fixes it. But friends, maybe that’s not what the verse means…maybe God doesn’t fix the crooked. Maybe He makes us straight from that point on, so that the crooked place becomes beautiful and useful to His work.

There is so much usefulness in the crooked.

Whatever made this tree crooked could now be a perfect spot for a tired soul to sit and rest. If this tree were straight, it would be taken for granted. But not this tree! You just can’t help to notice a crooked tree that continues to grow and thrive, can you? No, you can’t. You can’t pass by without marveling that a crooked life sustained by God himself is now tall and strong.

Something tried to stop growth in this tree. God said, “Oh, no sir. A remarkable story will come from your crooked spot. You will be straight again. Your crooked spot marks my salvation.”

Jesus, would you use our crooked spots to tell your story? We ask that you give purpose to our crookedness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Mysti Chustz

Mysti Chustz


  • Mysti Chustz has been following Jesus since she was six years old.
  • She is a wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend. Her most favorite roles are being wife to Philip and mama to Coleman, Mary Lamar, and Clay.
  • If one verse was used to describe her life, it would be Philippians 1:6. “Be confident of this, the One who starts the work in you is faithful to complete the work in you.”