The Freedom to Grow

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

"I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption." (Psalm 130:5-7)

"The path of the righteous is level; you, the Upright One, make the way of the righteous smooth. Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts." (Isaiah 26:7-8)

Roots. A healthy stem. Green leaves. Tiny buds.

I love plants. I don't have the slightest green thumb (I may have managed to kill a cactus once...), but I love plants.

My friend Katie, however, is my opposite. Katie works in the florist department of a design studio, and after events, she comes home arms laden with leftover plants and long-stem fresh flowers. And it was on one such evening last week that, despite my lack of gardening skills, I found myself driving home from Katie's house with a small young lavender plant in the passenger seat of my car.

You see, I love plants, but I often fail as a gardener because I'm impatient. I am a very impatient person. I struggle with stop lights, traffic, fishing, long lines, long hours of prayer, and especially long seasons of waiting on the Lord. I struggle waiting for plants to grow and flowers to bloom. When radical growth doesn't appear overnight, I become impatient and give up on waiting for results. Can you relate?

When I want something, I want to make it happen right away. I dislike having no control on the speed of results and having to wait on someone else for the things that I desire.

But through my lavender plant, the Lord is showing me that some of His greatest gifts are just like plants.

Dreams, relationships, friendships... They take time to grow and blossom. They need cultivation, watering, intentional effort put into them and steadfast waiting to see results. We aren't going to have a solid relationship or friendship with someone overnight. We aren't going to be living and walking in our dreams in a single day. That just isn't the way that these things happen.

We can't rush them or try to force them to happen when we want them to. They require a process of growth. But that process doesn't have to frustrate us and make us impatient. It's meant to be a time of beauty and appreciation as we watch the hand of God move.

Throughout the Bible, we read about the concept of waiting on the Lord. "Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." (Psalm 27:14) The Lord desires us to be a people who know how to wait well. To wait and to find the beauty in the growth and the lessons and the process as He develops good things in our lives.

Why does God ask us to wait sometimes? Could He not give us the good things we desire right when we ask Him? Of course He could. He's God. But what if a small plant grew to full size and bloomed overnight? Would it still be beautiful? Yes, but we would've missed the most beautiful stage of all- the growth and the day-by-day nurturing. 

So it is with many of the good things in our lives. It isn't about the result, though a plant in full bloom is certainly beautiful. But it's about enjoying and appreciating the process as the most beautiful part of it all - the grand unfolding of God's glorious plans.

Let us be daughters who wait upon the Lord and give our dreams and relationships the freedom to grow and to develop and to bloom.

"Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, 'The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.' The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord." (Lamentations 3:22-26)

Lord, thank You for the many ways that You use to grow us and mature us in You. I thank You that You understand our human nature with its eagerness and impatience and You still love us just the same. Please teach us greater patience and teach us to daily surrender our control of our lives to You and to wait on You. Help us to trust Your perfect timing and the work that You're doing in our lives. Help us to, by faith, allow the dreams and plans and relationships in our lives the time to grow, to unfold, and to blossom. Show us the beauty of the process. We don't want to miss a moment. Thank You that Your plans for us are always for our good. Amen.

What areas in your life are you maybe in a season now of waiting on the Lord? Has it been trying for your patience? It can be frustrating sometimes. Bring it to your Heavenly Father. He knows what's going on. Ask Him what He might want to teach you in and through the waiting. What are some ways that you can trust God more and wait more patiently on His timing? Slow down and enjoy the journey. He knows what He's doing.

Written by: Julia Glover

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