Standing Strong In The Wind

I have five Queen Palm trees growing next to the west facing wall in my backyard. I planted them over 20 years ago. Initially they were all the same size. But over the span of two decades they haven’t grown in height or width at the same rate. Three of the palms grew much taller and wider at the trunks then the other two. Being a curious person by nature, I had always wondered why there was such disparity in stature between them. Therefore I sought to find the reason for this dendrology dilemma. Three obvious possibilities came to mind: water, soil, and sunlight. I examined the soil and found no difference in the make-up of it. All trees were given the proper amount of nutrients over the years. Each had the same rate of water provided thru the sprinkler system. And each had the same amount of direct sunlight as well. So what could it be? Then one day it hit me! As I sat in my backyard I noticed something interesting. It was a gusty day as we so often have living in the desert and I observed the three tallest trees continually being buffeted by the strong westerly winds. But the shorter palm trees were barely moving.  They had not been affected by the opposing force of the wind. They were protected by the side of my neighbor’s house. After some research I found out wind is a contributing factor in a trees maturation. This natural phenomenon is known as stress growth which develops what is known as stress wood. As trees undergo the constant agitation of the wind, it builds up more fibers within it making it stronger. The pressure of the wind also encourages the
roots to grow deeper into the soil providing more stability. Thus the tree is able to mature
much faster allowing it to stand strong against natural diseases, storms, and to support its own weight as it grows over time.

There is no doubt that at some point the storms of life will bring in the strong winds to
confront us. Maybe you have experienced or are experiencing heavy burdens laid upon your shoulders. Maybe you have dealt with tremendous loss and are wondering if God’s purpose for your life is intact. I think we all go thru those valleys at least once in our lifetimes. But here’s what I know. Jeremiah 29:11 states, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” God is good and He sees my future even in the midst of my trials. Scripture teaches us that His desire for us is to help us grow in faith even if it means having to go thru the storms. The Apostle Paul knew this all too well. His storms of life are captured in 2 Corinthians 11: 16-33. God wants to build us up into the image of His Son Jesus. He wants us to grow stronger so that we can stand against the gale forces of life. He wants the roots of our faith to extend deep into the soil of His love to find the stability in Him alone. We do not have to fear what the storms of life might bring to us for God will help us stand strong against the wind.

David Carey

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