How We Grow
I see seeds. Seeds all around me. Seeds. Lots of seeds. Seeds ready to be planted. Seeds swollen with potential. Seeds waiting in fallow ground. Seeds ready and covered with good, rich soil. Seeds that are bursting with all that can and will be. Seeds breaking open with growth, pushing its way into something new. Seeds on their way through the richness into the light. Seeds that have transformed into deep green saplings with leaves and blossoms. Seeds that are now fully formed flowering fruitful plants. Seeds that have grown into luscious fruitful plants whose branches are so heavy their fruit is easy to reach.
Seeds. We all start as seeds. How we grow depends on how we respond to the water. Do we take to the good, rich soil or do we lay dormant in the fallow field. What does that mean? Analogies can be hard to understand sometimes.
God calls out to each of us. We answer to His call on our hearts and accept Jesus as our Lord. We get baptized. What happens next depends on what you do or don't do. You can choose to be content right there. You go to church. You don't go to church. You hear the preacher each Sunday, or every Christmas and Easter, or maybe a few other times a year. Maybe you go every week and on Wednesdays too. The preacher is good. What he/she says is meaningful. Sometimes the words you hear might even tug at your heart and spirit. A teaching that gets you to consider that maybe there might be something you should change. Then the sermon is over . You chat with your friends. Maybe you go to lunch after church. What then? Does anything change? Those words that made you think, made you question your choices? Are you still thinking about them? What has changed? Is there a change in your day to day life...or is it basically the same as before you found Jesus, except that now you go to church (sometimes). Maybe you even volunteer and help a particular ministry (sometimes). You pray over your food, you may even pray with your children at bedtime. What is really different?
Your seed is planted. You are getting water. What else is there? You are doing what you are supposed to do, right? I understand this place. I've been to this place. I lived in this place. I loved God. I loved Jesus. I went to church. I prayed over my meals (sometimes). I prayed when I was in trouble (especially). I prayed when I or someone I loved was sick. I tried to do the right things (sometimes). I tried to 'be good' (most of the time). What else was there? I did not know there was more. What I didn't understand was how different my life would be once I developed a relationship with Jesus.
Jesus is your friend. Just like your very best friend. Jesus is the best friend ever and then even better and more than that. You never have to even consider that He will tell your secrets, or consider your questions ridiculous or stupid. He will never look at you with judgement or distaste. He is the very best friend you will ever have. Talk to Him. Take Him with you wherever you go. He is fun. He has a good time. Joy, Peace and Love are His thing. Talk to Him about everything and anything. He will listen. He will guide you. He will meet you where you are. He will bring new ideas, concepts and possibilities into your life that you never dreamed possible. When you begin to develop a relationship with Jesus you will also find that you want to read and study the Bible. Suddenly that verse or passage will make sense. Things you never understood will start to become clear. Things will begin to change. Your seed will begin to germinate and swell with the things you are learning, with the relationship that you are cultivating. Soon, you'll begin to talk about the things you are reading and studying with other people who are reading and studying. You'll find that your understanding and willingness to understand and share begins to undergo a change. You talk to and about Jesus more and more. You discuss your problems with Him, your hopes and dreams and He begins to give you visions for yourself that you never considered, but that seem like just the right thing. You suddenly find your seed shooting up out of the ground and reaching for the light.
What does a relationship with Jesus really mean after all? What are the possibilities that a relationship with Jesus can bring to your life? We can choose to dig into the Word, find richness and truth there and begin to grow. Our seeds can germinate, burst will knowledge, sprout with growth, burst forth from the ground and shoot straight towards the light. Our roots can go deeper and deeper and our branches can get stronger and stronger. Blossoms can turn into flowers and flowers can turn into fruit. Our fruit can get ripe and our branches can get heavy with more and more fruit. Our branches will lean down until our fruit is within easy reach.
Our seeds get planted. We get watered. God urges our seeds to grow. We have to choose to listen and grow, bursting forth with all that God has for us.
Hosea 10:12 ERV
If you plant goodness, you will harvest faithful love. Plow your ground, and you will harvest with the Lord. He will come, and he will make goodness fall on you like rain.