A reminder in adversity

solo treeIt takes two things to blow down a tree: a heavy wind from the outside and rot and decay on the inside. So it is with man. The winds of adversity may cause him to bend, but if — by God’s grace — he’s strong and vigorous within, he will arise and grow to new heights after the storm passes.

Author unknown

Picture occurs courtesy Stuart Low photography

Growing Well

Kelsey Bryson and her Dad, Jim, like to raise pumpkins— really BIG pumpkins. Because their Canadian home is so far north of the equator their garden receives additional hours of sunshine during the summer. This allowed the father-daughter duo to grow the world’s largest pumpkin in 2011. Their pumpkin was heavier than two concert grand pianos, and outweighed the entire offensive line of an NFL team! The Bryson’s pumpkin tipped the scales at  1818.5 pounds. That’s a lot of pumpkin pie! 

To grow something well you simply need to have the right environment, and add the right elements. Good soil, lots of fertilizer, plenty of water, sunshine, Goliath Giant Pumpkin seeds, and a very big backyard.

Adding the right elements for growth is also necessary in our spiritual lives. There are some habits that are so foundational to our faith that we cannot grow without them. Unfortunately, most people only see the public persona. Their eyes glimpse our appearance, our belongings, or our actions. They don’t see what lies beneath the surface.

But when a crisis comes your spiritual growth (or lack thereof) is revealed for all to see. The crisis may be totally unexpected: a cancer diagnosis, a young adult’s rebellion, the loss of employment, or one’s lack of preparation for sexual temptation. Whatever the challenge, it will reveal  the nature of your spiritual growth.

There are three foundational practices that are so essential that no one can advance spiritually without them. They are: (1) Time in prayer, (2) Time in the Word, and (3) Dependence on the Holy Spirit.

Growing is an essential metaphor to remember in your walk with Christ. How are you doing in these necessary spiritual disciplines?