Years ago we went to tour the Bio Sphere II. It was a huge experiment here in the United States where scientists got together and created a "mini earth" and locked themselves in for a year to learn about it. They could only eat what they had inside, which was mostly what they harvested. There was a rain forest, and an ocean, a desert area, farm area, etc.
On the tour, they used to spend a lot of time telling what the scientists discovered. One thing they said really struck us. They said that the trees grew very tall and straight very quickly. But then they would break off. They puzzled over this and wondered why they grew so well, but didn't grow strong. Then they realized that the trees were lacking something, wind.
In order for a tree to grow properly, it needs wind.
It can grow tall and it can grow quickly and have its leaves to photosynthesize, but it cannot grow strong without the resistance of wind.
This week I was listening to a pod cast that reminded me that God is like the Master Gardener, he knows what he needs to prune in order for it to produce a bounteous harvest. That pruning may not feel so good to the bush at the time to have things snipped off, and sometimes even branches cut off so it can become beautiful and fruitful.
After talking to a friend who is facing a very long, very hard, very uphill battle, I was thinking about diamonds. To get a brilliant diamond, it has to first be found, mined, and then ground and cut by a master diamond cutter to become this beautiful sparkling gemstone. That sounds like a really awful process, but it is necessary if the diamond is to be worth anything.
There may be times in our lives where we are like the trees, needing some wind to blow to make us strong, at times even some really strong winds.
Other times we may need some pruning, have some dead or diseased ideas or traits 'cut off' so that we can then produce our very best.
Then there are times, like the diamond, we may have a lot of hard stuff that needs to be chiseled off, ground down, to reach that gem which then has to be cut, to shine brilliantly.
I don't know too many people right now whose lives are just smooth sailing. Many put on a good face and make it look like everything is ok or even fabulous, but that may be the moment they are just needing a little breeze in their lives. For others, it can look and seem as though they are being tumbled around with other rocks, chipping off the hard outside covering.
Whatever place you may be in in your life, know that The Master knows exactly what He is doing in you. He created you for His purpose and He knows what that is. Maybe you will be a strong tree that will provide shade, relief and protection to others.
Maybe he created you to produce a bounteous harvest of words or kind works. He knows what and when to prune so you can bring forth an incredible harvest of goodness.
Maybe you will be the diamond, that has to be ground down and cut and polished to become a valuable treasure.
Or maybe you will find seasons of all of these in your life.
Sometimes it is incredibly hard to remember all of this, especially when it seems the gale force winds won't stop. It can be so hard to remember there is purpose in all the struggles and hard things that seem to be trying to crush the life, when in actuality they are purposed to give a greater life.
I'm writing it down so maybe I will remember a little better.
Grow strong my friend, the harvest is coming and you will shine incredibly. He knows His plan for you.