Sunday, February 19, 2012

No Storms, No Trials, No Vigor

     I lived in Arizona when Biosphere 2 was being built. The project was meant to simulate life on another planet, such as Mars, to determine if it were possible. The Biosphere 2 project is nestled along the desert hills of Oracle, Arizona. It opened its door to four men and four women in September of 1991. The wealthy Texan who funded the project was said to be a bit eccentric, and some thought he may have wanted to see if Biosphere 2 could provide a self-sustaining environment. Whether he thought it would be great for planetary travel and habitation or was seeking a remedy for possible world degradation, the project failed, and in 2007, the University of Arizona bought and rescued the property. Public tours are conducted there, and portions of the facility are still used for education.
     There is a small detail about the Biosphere that is particularly interesting. Several habitats were established, and they contained foliage designed to replicate their origins. A problem developed with the trees in each setting: they succumbed to etiolation (a sickly state that drains the trees of vigor and coloring) and weakness caused by lack of stress wood. Stress wood is a tree’s stronger fibers that normally are created in response to wind and storms in natural conditions. 
     No storms, no trials, no vigor. 
After that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish,
strengthen, settle you. —1 Peter 5:10 KJV 
A prayer from Charles H. Spurgeon:
May your faith be no “baseless fabric of a vision,” but may it be
builded of material able to endure that awful fire which shall consume
the wood, hay, and stubble of the hypocrite. May you be rooted and
grounded in love. May your convictions be deep, your love real, your
desires earnest. May your whole life be so settled and established that
all the blasts of hell and all the storms of earth shall never be able
to remove you. 

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