This is a picture of bamboo. Why am I talking about bamboo? What does that have to do with anything? Keep reading.
I’ve been going through it. Emotionally, it’s been kind of rough. I’ve been frustrated with the process that God has me in. It feels too intense and it feels as if I should be further and it feels, it feels, it feels! Yesterday, I was fussing in my heart to God that I was over it. I was just feeling done and a little defeated. Feeling like I’ve been striving to grow but not seeing and fruit or progress. Add to the dynamic that God is growing me in more than one area, simultaneously. It’s like being stretched and pulled in 3 or 4 different directions at the same time. OVERWHELMING!!!
I just felt beat up and worn out and ready to quit. I’m not talking leave the faith or anything. Just I didn’t want to be in ministry or leadership. It’s like I wanted to give the call on my life back to God and tell Him thank you but no thank you. I’ve been putting forth all this effort, dying to myself and giving more than I ever have before with little to no fruit to show for it.
Then God showed me the bamboo. I had heard the story about the bamboo before but today when God reminded me, it resounded deeply in my heart, strengthening me inwardly.
There was a man who wanted to grow bamboo. He began to water it every day, excitedly teeming with anticipation. A few months go by yet nothing has grown. But the man is still encouraged and keeps watering it. Several more months pass and still, there is no evidence that there really is bamboo in the ground. A year passes and still nothing. He keeps watering because he knows that he must water if he wants to see something. (Talk about great faith!) Another year goes by. Nothing to show for his efforts. A third year passes, a fourth year passes, a fifth year passes and still NOTHING. Through this time, this man is diligent. He believes that something will come from his faithfulness to cultivate that which is buried in the ground. One day, he goes out to water the plant and what seems like all of a sudden, there’s the plant. One day there was nothing and the next day, there’s something that he can see. This plant begins to spring up, fully developed. It shoots up out of the ground quickly, growing 90 feet in 6 week’s time.
It didn’t take 6 weeks for the bamboo to grow. It was growing all along. It was growing down before it could show the results of its growth. Because the bamboo can shoot up so high, so quickly, it’s important for it to have a solid root system and a stable foundation. Imagine if the roots weren’t secure. The entire plant would suffer and it would fall over and die.
Colossians 2:7 “Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. “
Ephesians 3:16-17 “I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.”
God is strengthening my roots. They’re growing down deep into Him in order for my life to be built upon the solid rock. Christ is my firm foundation. If I don’t allow my foundation to be deep and secure, I’ll never be able to sustain all that He’s giving me to do. This is not the time to quit. I’ve put forth too much time and effort to quit. That would be a waste of my investment. If I quit now, I could be quitting at the point right before everything that is in me is ready to break forth. Quitting is not an option. I must continue to persevere and grow deeper and deeper into Him.
I hope this encourages you like it’s encouraged me. You may be in a place where you’ve been faithful and diligent yet you see no fruit from it. God is working. He’s working under the surface and developing a foundation that no matter what comes your way, you will be secure. That when the storms come and the winds blow, you won’t be tossed to and fro. We have to trust Him and know that He’s doing all things according to His masterful design. Stay the course. Be steadfast and immovable as your roots grow down into Him.
Have you dealt with feeling like you want to give up? How did you handle it? What did you do to overcome it? Leave a comment and chat with me. I’m clearly still in the midst of it and would love to talk some!