I recently read about a scientific experiment called a “biosphere” where a group of scientists had artificially replicated nearly every weather condition on earth indoors except for one—wind. To their surprise the absence of wind was disastrous for the trees, which began to bend and snap under their own weight. It turns out that wind strengthens the trees by creating stress. Without this resistance the trees will not develop enough strength to hold themselves upright. Douglas Malloch's poem “Good Timber” expresses this point brilliantly:
Good timber does not grow in ease;
The stronger wind, the tougher trees;
The further sky, the greater length;
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.
Where thickest stands the forest growth,
We find the patriarchs of them both.
And they hold converse with the stars
Whose broken branches show the scars
Of many winds and of much strife.
This is the common law of life.
How effective do you think an army would be if the soldiers were trained at five-star resorts? How reliable would a scholar be if he never took a test? How long would a boxer last in the ring if his training consisted of pillow fights? Pleasure over pain is usually our default setting, and people are looking for the path of least resistance. But unlike us, God sees our lives from the vantage point of eternity. His primary concern is not your comfort but your conforming to the image of His Son.
This is Daniel Kolenda
encouraging you to live before you die.
The brother of a famous evangelist, whom I’ll call Sam, once jokingly explained why he became a farmer instead of an evangelist like his brother.
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