Biosphere 2 is a huge complex on 3.14 acres in Arizona, dedicated to the study of Biosphere 1 -- Earth.
Under fields of glass, in a somewhat controlled environment, scientists study soil- water-atmosphere and plant interactions. They study the earth's ecosystem's response to elevations in carbon dioxide.
There is a simulated rainforest, a fog desert an ocean and a coral reef. Even a mangrove field, all in the middle of the desert. Biosphere 2 is one of a kind just as the earth is. Millions of dollars are invested for upkeep and experimentation, in the hope that once they understand the earth they can control certain aspects of weather and erosion.
Biosphere 2 is massive and interesting, but it was the discussion of one seemingly insignificant tree that got my attention. Just a twenty-plus-year-old tree, growing under glass. The tour guide alerted our attention to the bracing on its limbs.
When asked why it needed braces, this was her answer, "No wind."
The tree has been given everything possible it needed to grow; sun, pruning, water, shelter from pestilence, fertilizer, but without the opportunity to face the wind, to sway against gentle breezes or stand and maybe bend against strong gales, it was rendered weak. Its limbs have to be braced otherwise they'll break.
The same applies to each of us who have chosen to follow Christ.
Scripture tells us in;
Psalm 1:1-3 (NIV)
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.
Can you feel the serenity of being that tree planted by the stream? Growing tall, giving shade, giving fruit. Our roots go deep for nourishment and water, we will prosper, we will get every necessity to thrive.
To survive, we will have to face some of the unpleasant things of life's too, times of sun, maybe relaxing and warm, or scorching heat, even fire, winds, sometimes soft, other times tempests, and rain, perhaps gentle mists or deluges and floods. We will have to go through the seasons of life, walk through the valleys as well.
Thankfully, God doesn't leave us ill-prepared or alone on our journey.
If likened to trees, we have to remember, God gives us everything we need to grow to our fullest.
The Holy fire of God releases seeds in us, but doesn't cause us to wither. This process cleans and allows for new growth. He feeds us nutrients through His Word, His Son and His Spirit.
The Wind of the Spirit rages against us at times teaching us to stand in strength and prunes us, or comes to us in a soft breeze that brings wisdom and respite and carries our prayers.
Christ is the Word and the Living Water.
John 4:14 (NIV) but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart
In Christ, you are given everything you need to survive, and in due time, even pruning to be strengthened.
I'll be the first to admit, I'm not big on pruning. It can hurt. But it's those times of pruning and drought, or fire, or sustenance and rest that strengthen me for what else may come.
What would happen if I was "a pheasant under glass" Christian? One who never had to face a hardship, never had to move, never had search or glean?
I have to wonder… What would happen if the glass protecting Biosphere 2 were broken, and that bandaged tree had to stand against the wind?