There is a fascinating and unusual tree called the “Bristlecone Pine.”
Growing in the mountain regions, sometimes as high as two or more miles above sea level, these evergreens may live for thousands of years. The older specimens often have only one thin layer of bark on their trunks.
Considering the habitat of these trees, such as rocky areas where the soil is poor and precipitation is slight, it seems almost incredible that they should live so long or even survive at all.
The environmental “adversities,” however, actually contribute to their longevity. Cells that are produced as a result of these perverse conditions are densely arranged, and many resin canals are formed within the plant. Wood that is so structured continues to live for an extremely long period of time.
However, the Bristlecone Pines which grow in richer conditions grow faster, but also die earlier. The harshness of their surroundings, then, is a vital factor in making them strong and sturdy.
How similar this is to the experience of the Christian who graciously accepts the hardships God allows to come into his life.
ln Hebrews 12:11 we read that such chastening produces “the peaceable fruit of righteousness.”
Are you in a difficult place today because the winds of trial are sweeping over your life? lnstead of complaining, thank God for the assurance that “after ye have suffered awhile,” He will “establish, strengthen, and settle you.” Rejoice in the added power and grace that comes through adversity!