Growing Deeper

I like flowers.

Okay, so you had already gathered that, if you’ve read any amount of my blog or noticed my gravatar picture.  But more than just thinking they are pretty, I like flowers because they make good illustrations.  And, like people, each flower is just a little bit different although it is also very much the same as the rest.

Plants analogies are common enough in scripture.  We’re called to be like trees planted beside rivers of water (Psalm 1:3).  Jesus asks us to consider the flowers of the field in Matthew 6.  The Song of Solomon is full of descriptors using flowers and trees.  The following analogy is by no means original.  Let’s just say I’m rediscovering it.  For argument’s sake, I’m going to use a rose as my specific flower.  I’m not trying to make any statements by that choice.   I picked on the rose simply because I know a few of its qualities that speak to parts of my current situation.

What do I know about roses?  They have thorns.  So do I.  For instance, I can be snappish sometimes, or grumpy, or thoughtless.  All selfish reactions, all of which hurt other people.  And roses also have beautiful flowers.  When Christ works through me, I smile even when it hurts inside, help others when I could use a hand myself, and sing when I would rather hide in silence.  In between, roses have leaves.  I kind of think those leaves are the everyday things we do all the time, making dinner, going to work, walking the dog — the routine chores of our existence, things that we don’t think too much about.  Things that aren’t spectacular but which are necessary.  Leaves are half of what keep flowers alive.

What’s the other half?  The roots.  And that’s the part of me that seems to be doing the most growing right now.  Rose roots go deep and are really hard to get out of the ground if you are trying to transplant or kill a plant.  We have two rose plants (hardly bushes, and not the vine kind) at my house that were there when we moved in.  My mom didn’t want them where they were, so we tried to take them out.  We have been in this house for ten years, and those roses are still there.   We didn’t get all the roots, and they keep coming back.   My roots go down into Christ.  And the longer I know Him, the deeper my roots go.  But just like during the winter a rose’s roots cannot go any deeper, I go through periods where I am not growing deeper into Christ (not that He is cold like winter ground!).  Just now, I feel like I’m being challenged to go deeper, to find more of my strength in Him, to trust Him when the next step is not in sight.

It’s also called walking by Faith.

Growing deeper isn’t easy.  While I trust that God knows my needs, knows where I am going next, and will show me in His own good time, that doesn’t give me a clear picture of what I need to do next.  That’s the definition of faith – not being able to see the road ahead but still going forward in the light God has given you.   Right now the process of growing is involving plenty of prayer, putting out feelers toward different opportunities (job related mostly) to get an idea of whether that’s where God wants me, and always listening for His guidance.

For He does speak.  Many times I don’t recognize it until afterwards, but I’ll be prompted to ask a question, or to take a conversation in a particular direction that leads to something I needed to hear or say.  Sometimes it’s an action, moving to stand beside someone who is lonely or needs a supporting presence.  The little prompt comes from the Spirit conversing with my spirit, and it’s a beautiful feeling when you realize that God who made the universe can talk directly to me!  Sometimes it happens so subtly that I barely realize it, but I think God often does not want us to be distracted while He’s working through us, so He chooses to let us think that we thought of doing or saying something.  Only later do I have the time to reflect that it must have been God because we never would have done or said that something otherwise.

And the funniest thing about growing deeper is, that while I’m growing deeper into Christ, I’m apparently growing up.  As in, maturing.  In effect, I’m growing up and down at the same time.

Go figure.

Actually, that sounds just like me, not knowing which way I’m headed!  But seriously, I think I’m finally stumbling over the fact that in order to really grow up, to mature, I need to grow deeper with Christ.  To know Him better through reading the word, to spend time with Him through reading, praying, listening, and fellowshipping together with Him (and other people when necessary), and through these things to reflect more of Him in my dealings with others.  It happens you know – the people you spend the most time with are the people you begin acting like.

How about you?  Are you ready to grow deeper with Christ?

Explore posts in the same categories: Growing Up, Theological Musings, Young Adulthood

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One Comment on “Growing Deeper”

  1. smiley Says:

    Wonderful! I really needed to hear this and I absolutely agree. Thank you.

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