Letting The Process Happen
Seeds. Seeds are the beginning of every type of life on this planet. It's a brilliant part of God's plan. Nothing grows that doesn't start with a seed. Flowers are so beautiful and delicate, but if you study the process of a flower's growth, you will discover they are made of tough stuff.
First, a seed is planted. The seed can't be seen above ground. It digs down deep in the soil, takes in the rain and sun as it comes. This is the phase where roots grow. The roots grow out from that little seed, twining into the Earth, making sure there is stability, security...making sure the life that's coming is able to stand strong against the elements. At this point, the seed has been cracked open, the shell is gone, and it looks completely different than it did at planting.
The shell has to crack open and become something entirely different for life to happen.
From the roots of that little seed comes the stem. Every living thing has a core, a central point, a place that all life grows out from. No plant can grow without a stem.
No life can grow without a strong core.
Then, the leaves start to bud. Leaves are essential to the life of the flower. The leaves take in the rain and sunshine and transfer it to the stem, the core of the plant. The leaves must come before the flower, because without the leaves, the life of the flower cannot be sustained. So much has happened at this point in the life of the little plant. It has been working hard to grow, but mostly unnoticed. There is nothing bright about it, nothing yet that signals it is going to be a beautiful flower.
To the naked eye, it looks weak, frail, easily trampled.
Remember those roots, though? Those roots have continued to grow through every part of the process. Those roots keep digging down deep into the soil...
and the deeper the roots go, the stronger the life of the flower will be.
Now, at the exact moment that the plant is ready...the little buds of the flower start to form. Little buds that have been closed up, waiting for their moment, they start opening up, just a little at a time. The petals have been forming inside that little bud, the soft, beautiful, one of a kind petals have been forming....
and now they are ready to burst forth.
When life is ready to burst forth, nothing can stop it; not even the closed up shell of a bud. When that flower is ready to burst forth, it does. Those passing by notice the flower now, notice the vibrant colors of those petals, the uniqueness of each flower. The flower that is now so visible doesn't show signs of damage, or the struggle of breaking through the bud.
All that is seen is the beauty of the flower.
The process of the little flower becoming just that takes time and patience. The soil must be rich and full, the seed must be planted, the roots must grow. The stem must come first to give the little flower balance and a place to grow from. The leaves must come before the petals so the roots will stay nourished. No, the beautiful flower with the sweet scent and vibrant colors must be the end result of a specific process.
We mustn't despise the process, friends. The roots must be given time to grow inside of us. We have to know Jesus first, know his voice, know his face, his touch. The closer we draw to him, the deeper down those roots grow. Then, when the roots are so deep the only way to go is up, the proof will slowly start budding from the soil of our lives. It might not look beautiful at first...just a stem peeping up from the surface.
Jesus is faithful, though.
He will water the soil, cultivate that little stem so it is strong, sturdy, safe for the life that will bud from it. He will teach us all about compassion, kindness, grace and mercy. The leaves will grow from the stem so the life will be sustainable. Then...when the time is right...
The flower will burst forth, vibrant and beautiful.
Everyone will look and see only the beauty of the flower..but we will know...we will know that the beauty displayed through our lives is only proof of a process, proof of an intimate relationship that has weathered the storms. We will know that the little bud that has burst forth from our life is only proof of roots that go way down deep in our souls.
Be patient with yourself, friend. Jesus is not finished with you. He is sowing a seed in you, and he is faithful to nurture it. Don't be discouraged because you don't see vibrant colors bursting out yet. Don't be discouraged by what other's say they see, for they don't know....they don't know about those roots inside that are digging deeper and deeper. The don't know about the storms you've weathered, the seasons you've been through. They don't know...
but Jesus knows.
And he is faithful to finish what he starts....
"I am the vine, you are branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit..." John 15:5