Each morning for the past couple of weeks I wake up, pour a cup of coffee, and walk out onto my deck. The first thing that I do is look at the tiny sprouts of cabbage, spinach, and lettuce that my wife and I planted (Our boys were interested and helped out up until the point where we ran out of dirt). I love gardening. There is just something that I find amazing about getting to witness a seed growing into a full size plant and then producing either an appealing flower or edible fruit. What bewilders me also is the simplicity of growth. You take some seed and put it in some soil, and then add a little water and sunlight. Within a week seeds are sprouted and life has begun. Now I know that gardening is not always that simple. I know that it has its moments of complexity when the weeds begin to grow and the pests begin to invade. What I want to focus on, however, is the simplicity of growth that is so easily overlooked.
In fact, this analogy has much in comparison with Christian growth. I believe that we believers often make the matter of our spiritual growth more complex than what it really is. The biblical authors use the term growth throughout their writings. Believers know from Scripture that growth is to be a characteristic of their life. But what we often do is make it harder and more difficult than it actually is. What we need is a lesson from the plants. Take some soil, seed, water, and light. That’s it. I believe we must first plant ourselves wherever it is that God wants us. We need a place for our roots to begin to grow. We need a bed of soil to begin. This means a good church. For those who are already planted in a church it means a place of ministry. We need an environment where the seed can sprout. Placing ourselves in good soil will cause growth.
Just planting seed in the soil will do a lot, but it is not enough. We need water and light. We need to be watered everyday with the truth. Without it our soil will become hard and dry, and eventually we will dry up. A little water everyday makes a difference. We also need light and warmth from the sun. Believers need daily grace. Grace is what we get when we humble ourselves before the Father in prayer. Our hearts are vulnerable before him as we confess our mistakes, our sin, and our misguided beliefs about him. This though is where we get our light. God responds to us with his grace. His Spirit then moves and comforts us and encourages us to get up and walk again in the truth. All this might sound so complex, but it really is simple. If we will plant ourselves where God wants us, put ourselves in contact with the truth, and spend some time with the Father, then one day we will walk outside and see a mature plant that was once only a seed.
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18close2 Peter 3:18 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (ESV) close2 Peter 3:18close2 Peter 3:18 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (ESV) 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (ESV)