Growth: a stage in the process of growing, progressive development
Have you ever seen the growth of a tree, flower, or plant in time-lapse photography? I am awed at the transformation from seed to mature plant. Even more impressive is how deep and wide the roots must grow before any leaf-stems are visible above ground. The roots are nearly 100 times larger than the leaf-stem, thereby assuring that the plant is prepared to face many hardships such as high winds, floodwaters, or drought.
Without time-lapse photography, we would never witness this vital stage of growth in the life of a plant. Without a deep and expanding root system, mature growth is impossible because a plant without roots can survive nor thrive to bear any flower or fruit.
The same is true for us; growth of any kind, especially emotional or spiritual growth, requires careful attention to growing deep expanding roots in the soil of our souls. Paul speaks of this in Colossian 2: 6-8;
6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.
In the parable of the farmer, Jesus taught us how vital soil preparation was to harvest. Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8 all speak to how soil preparation is critical to harvest. Without proper soil, the roots won’t grow deep nor wide enough to bear any fruit, much less survive the hardships of life above ground.
Neither can we. Without God’s presence, power, protection, and provision, we cannot grow or survive through our above ground efforts. Without deep expanding roots in God’s word and wisdom, nothing we do will produce lasting growth, personally, professionally, or relationally.
Growth requires being attentive to the unseen roots growing deeper by the day, anchoring our soul to the only Rock that is allowed in the garden. Growth requires an intimate relationship with the “Gardener” in John 15, abiding in Him through time spent daily in his presence. Lasting growth cannot happen in any other way.
When was the last time you spent time walking and talking with the Gardener? How about today?
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