Sometimes it is patience that we need for growth to happen. To wait it out, be faithful, pray. In my garden, is true that some fruit can only come at the expense of time. At the cost of maturity.
But there are others reasons why growth and productivity can be obstructed.
Not enough fertilizer. Crazy weather. Not enough light. Bad drainage. Pests. Sickness. Wind.
These are not just gardening issues. They translate into the spiritual life too. Into all of life, really.
If you’re struggling in the soil you’re planted in, there’s usually a reason. Sometimes it’s a matter of waiting, of being faithful and patient and hopeful, but sometimes it’s something else entirely. Sometimes we are restless because God is stirring us toward a new season. Or a better fit. Growing pains. Birthing pains.
The trick is to discern which one it is. This can only be done by spending quality time with the Gardener.
I planted a bunch of peas last year, in a soggy spot with lots of morning shade. They hated it. Sure, they sprouted and the vines even grew about a foot. But the pods were sickly and sparse, and the vines never grew any more than that. They couldn’t thrive where they were.
People are similar. In the wrong situations, relationships, occupations, locations, positions, they will still sprout. It is because of hope. They will still give it a shot. It is a part of our design, to germinate and sprout, to do what we can. But alas, poor lighting, terrible drainage, too much rain, not enough air – these determine much in the capacity of a plant to flourish.
We were meant to flourish. And God is speaking to our hearts in every season, leading us toward His best, toward still waters and green pastures, helping us to take peaceful steps of faith. Leading us toward lasting growth and prolific fruit.
Even when tragedy strikes. Even in sorrow and pain, He is good. He is working toward healthy roots and strong stems and abundant life. Making our hard messes into beautiful messages.
Sometimes you need to wait the season out, pray it through, go the distance, in order for growth to occur.
But sometimes you need a change. Sometimes the plaintive urging in your heart is as legit as the sunrise, and you need to head in a new direction, free to follow His leading, knowing His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Knowing He leads with peace. Sometimes you can only grow foot long vines where you are, no matter how big your hope, and you know core-deep that you were meant for eight footers. It’s true.
God is a master Gardener. He has a green thumb. Let Him lead you. Let Him plant you. There are necessary endings as well as beginnings. A time for everything. And to everything a season. Other people’s stories are connected to yours. Your brave move toward the next step of thriving might be the catalyst for someone else’s freedom and growth.
Don’t ignore your heart. If you are a child of God, He lives there.
He is speaking there.
You were meant to truly and honestly flourish.