By Melissa Stone
Welcome the Wind
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:8-10 ESV
I was listening to a podcast recently featuring guest speaker, KJ Ramsey, author of “This Too Shall Last: Finding Grace When Suffering Lingers”. She shared that in researching her book she came across an unusual phenomenon regarding trees in the Biosphere 2 project in the Oracle, Arizona desert. The 1991 project housed in a glass dome allowed researchers to see if Earth’s atmosphere could be replicated on remote places such as Mars. Environment, moisture, fertilization, etc. were monitored so closely that the optimal growing conditions inside the dome caused the trees to grow at surprising rates; however, the seemingly healthy trees began to fall over for no reason. It was soon discovered that the lack of wind—a factor in Earth’s atmosphere not accounted for—kept the trees from growing deep roots to anchor them to the soil.
Ramsey encouraged the listeners that although the weather patterns of suffering may blow around us, we will not be moved if we’re anchored in Christ since He is the taproot. Our faith then produces more roots, deeper and stronger after the suffering than before. She kept repeating the phrase “welcome the wind.” I now have that phrase on my whiteboard as a reminder that my attitude regarding suffering is a determinate of my response to it. Instead of bracing myself in the face of a storm, I can relax and bend with it knowing I will not be moved since I’m anchored by God’s love, protection, and omnipotence. For the Christian suffering is not only a guarantee, it is also allowed by God who, by it, will strengthen us for the next storm.
Father God, thank You that I need not fear the storms that come my way. Remind me that just as You brought the storm on the lake to test and deepen the disciples’ faith in Christ, You also allow them into my life for the same reason. Help me to welcome the wind, knowing that it is Your tool to strengthen me. Amen.