During an evening walk through the woods, I noticed this unassuming log.
I specifically noticed how the wood fibers twisted upward the entire length, forming a spiral.
I've seen this before in trunks stripped of their bark, but I never asked myself why. Today I did, and I realized this spiral helps strengthen the tree, like the twisting of rope threads strengthens a cord.
Then I instantly thought of how this tree is like my own life. My Lord allowed me to be twisted and wrung me out, most of the time in painful ways, to make me stronger. Or to show me the truth. Or for reasons I have yet to comprehend. And that twisting results in something beautiful.
Yet sometimes the damage is not so beautiful.
When limbs are torn away from the trunk, the tree grows lumpy knobs over the wound, a scar of sorts. This wood, the scar wood, is far far stronger than the twisted trunk.
I wonder if it also is the same in life. The worst wounds, once healed, may not be pretty, but God makes them into the strongest areas of all.