Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Trees and Things

For some time now, I have been praying for the spiritual growth of someone dear to me, and for the same amount of time, I have been quite frustrated with this person's lack of growth. I ask God all the time, "When are you going to do something?" The other day I got really fed up and decided that it was a waste of my time to keep praying about it and told God that.

Not long after that, Mom and I were sitting on my patio underneath the shade tree that I had planted a few years ago when she mentioned that at the time I planted that tree, she didn't have much hope that it would survive. Indeed, when Husband and I put it in the ground, it was a stick with leaves on it, and a few days later, the leaves shriveled up and turned brown. I decided to go and pull it up, but for some reason I kept neglecting to go out there and do it. Then one day I looked out, and that tree had started growing new leaves and new branches and was all pretty and green. Now that tree is almost as tall as the house and provides a tremendous amount of cool shade.

I guess sometimes people are like trees. The growth that we want to see isn't evident on the outside for a long time because all its strength is going into putting down good roots. Eventually when the roots are established, the fruit (or leaves) will be evident to everyone looking at it. Growth is a slow process, and most of it takes place under the surface where we can't see it.

OK, now I feel really silly that I had to learn this lesson from such a simple illustration. Maybe I'm the one that is growing so slowly!


Tony Arnold said...

Maybe one of the best places to learn from is the natural world that God created. A tree is not skewed by the fallen nature of man nor the pyschological filters of their environment. A natural source of knowledge has a purity to it.

Jesus said, "consider the lilies...consider the birds."


Little Light said...

Sometimes I can recognize growth within myself, but it may take months or even longer before it is visible or tangible. Nature certainly reminds us of a lot of ways we should or do behave.

jettybetty said...

It may be a simple lesson, but it is powerful. I think I give up too easily when I am praying for people some of the time. This makes me think of times when I have heard people say they have prayed for others for 40 or 50 years without seeing much change--and then GOD worked!
Thanks for a lesson in persistence in prayer!

Jana said...

Hey, you're growing. Doesn't matter how fast it's happening. You're GROWING. If you're not growing, well, you're dead...and we don't want that! Keep on growing no matter what your pace!

Fortunately Jesus used simple illustrations all the time. Thank goodness. I'm all about simple!

JMG said...

Yes, I had not really thought of all the nature illustrations Jesus used.

Little Light, I loved the picture comparison on your blog from Tuesday! What a great laugh!