Unfinished Life: Week 3 - Day 5

Opening Prayer

Lord, let me hear your voice today in all the many ways that you speak.  Show me your goodness as I walk the difficult paths of this life.  Help me to grow strong as I walk with you when times are sweet and when times are difficult.

 

Read 1 Peter 1:6-7 (NIV)

6 “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

 

Reflect

The Biosphere 2 is a miniature version of our planet that is completely enclosed in a space the size of three football fields and is owned by the University of Arizona.  They study lots of things there and from one of their experiments, quite by accident, they discovered why wind is important to plants.

 When they grew trees in Biosphere 2 the trees grew faster but were weak, brittle and never reached maturity, collapsing before they were able to mature.

 Trees grown in the wild, however, are constantly under stress from the wind which causes them to bend and sway.  In so doing, these trees develop in their internal structure (via a chemical reaction caused by the swaying) what is called “reaction wood”.  This reaction wood is what allows the tree to grow toward the best available light.  It is also the part of the tree structure that allows it to transfer the strain of heavy wind throughout the tree and down into its roots to keep it upright under extreme conditions.  Without the strain of the wind on the tree day after day over a long period of time, the tree cannot develop this inner strength.

 Don’t you just love how God uses his creation to show us his truth?

 

Apply

God allows the wind to stress the trees for their good, just as he allows us to go through difficult times to strengthen us and help us grow to maturity.

 Yesterday we discussed Brother Lawrence.  When he was at a low point in his life God showed him a tree in the dead of winter.  It appeared lifeless, much the same as he felt.  Then God reminded him that the season was about to change and this tree would regain its leaves and produce beautiful fruit.

 God is always providing for us in everything.  He provides difficulties to strengthen and mature us and he provides shade and beautiful fruit to nourish and refresh us.


Closing prayer

Lord, every one of us is unfinished yet, we desire to know you and be like you.  We don’t like difficulties, but we know and believe that you always use them to grow and mature us.  Give us the faith to embrace the hard times in our life and teach us always to trust you more.

 

Terry Schneider