Roots and Other Slow Growing Shenanigans

Untitled design//So you want God to stop the shenanigans and move your life faster than a slow growth forest.

All your selfishness is bound up in a tangled root ball, all twine and knotted.

You don’t want to be dug up, your burlap slashed,

And you don’t want a new spot to grow. Ever.

There’s a good old Bible on your shelf. Everything it says in its pages about growth involves




But you say, “I’ve been waiting forever.”

“I’ve been good.”

“Look at me, God!”

You want things to go like a marathon, on and on, as fast and as hard as you can push them.

You want to see progress in feet, not inches,

Blossoms, not sprouts.

But that is not His way.

He will take shears to your heart.

He will clip off disease and deadhead your withered blooms.

It will hurt and if a plant could cry, you might burst tears like pollen in spring.

“I’m not writing all this as a neighborhood scold just to make you feel rotten. I’m writing as a father to you, my children. I love you and want you to grow up well, not spoiled—“

Give Him your brokenness and He will plant you

More deeply than a quick fix potted plant.

“…There are a lot of people around who can’t wait to tell you what you’ve done wrong, but there aren’t many fathers willing to take the time and effort to help you grow up. It was as Jesus helped me proclaim God’s Message to you that I became your father. I’m not, you know, asking you to do anything I’m not already doing myself.”-1 Corinthians 4:13-16 (MSG)

What will flourish must be pruned.

What will bear blossom must be replanted.

What will bear weight of storm and tree swing are deep roots.//

Nathan Foster says,

“There is something so appealing about the cultural lie that if I could be more, do more, then things will be okay – the grand illusion of control.  I’m not sure where I got the idea that I’m entitled to have an easy life, free of suffering and struggle. But it too is an illusion, one I often cling to, an idol of sorts.

“I remember watching someone desperately pour out a question to my dad: ‘What do you do when your pursuing God feels empty and dry? What do you do when you’re lost in pain, mystery, and God seems completely absent?’ Very simply he replied, ‘The same thing you do when all is going your way. You remain faithful and obedient.'”

God, like every good thing worth waiting for, sometimes takes His own, sweet time.Tweet This

Go on.


I write most Fridays with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday community, a band of creatives writing for 5 furiously wonderful minutes. Join us, if you like. (// indicates the beginning and end of 5 minutes.)

Your Turn

What do you struggle to let God grow? How do you really feel about roots and slow-growing things that take time?

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May 13, 2016