The trees cowered violently in a brawny storm last night, and this morning the power is out. I woke at light of day expecting to find downed limbs everywhere, but there is nary a one to be seen. I’m a bit astounded to know the beating they took, and yet see no sign of it today. Pretty amazing…
It reminded me of an article I read some time back. In the 1950’s, experimental, human-occupied, domed biospheres were built in the southwest, ostensibly for the purpose of determining if life could be supported in a sealed and contained unit, even used in interplanetary habitation or after nuclear holocaust. Anyway, when they were first built, people expected trees within them to grow inordinately large. Without wind to trim them or knock them down, it was anticipated they would grow unimpeded ‘who knows how big!’ Yet fairly quickly the branches became brittle, snapping and falling under their own less-than-modest weight, in fact much more quickly than in natural environments. It was then widely recognized (what horticulturists probably already knew) that trees need weather’s adversity to strengthen: even light winds create tiny stress fractures in the new, supple bark, small fissures and cracks that fill and heal naturally and allow the tree to fortify itself as it grows. Take away the winds and a tree becomes frail, unable to even bear itself.
…I am strengthened more by the challenges
I face than by those things that come easily.
Is this a lesson on the place of adversity? Perhaps I am strengthened more by the challenges I face than by those things that come easily.
One never knows what can be learned in a storm, God. Make me wise to always let pain do its work.
Consider it all joy, my friends, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)
~~RGM, from an earlier journal entry,
adapted for my blog July 5, 2014