A Floating Forest
The S.S. Aryfield is an abandoned ship that is rusting away in an Australian bay. Ships all around her sank as their hulls thinned and cracked. But the S.S. Aryfield isn’t like the other ships. After it was decommissioned, mangrove trees sprouted in her stern. Today there is a dense “floating forest” which obscures everything except her bow.
And the Aryfield hasn’t sunk. Its hull is speckled with holes, yet still it “floats”.
But I don’t think it floats as much as it is upheld by those mangrove trees. Those tree roots have punctured the hull and sunk down into the ground in that shallow bay. The branches have split the weakened metal in their quest for the sunlight. The Aryfield cannot sink because she is supported by the forest -- that she once supported.
When those trees first started to grow, the ship must have felt the burden – extra weight, so much pressure, the painful, slow growth of the roots and the new branches. But those same burdens now hold up the Aryfield.
It is so much like our lives. Trials come, and it is natural to resent them. But often what we learn and gain through those struggles sustain us later on. God uses hard things to develop inner strength that will keep us from sinking in the future – if we are willing to bear the burden, just like the S.S. Aryfield.
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