In many homes, parents mark their kids’ height on door posts with dates to measure their progress. Each mark compared to the previous ones determines how tall and fast they grew.
These two pine trees joined our family around 12 years ago. The taller one came in a little short of the upper boundary of the windowsill. The shorter one was perhaps half the height of its taller sibling. I re-potted them 3x. It took two men to transfer the taller one to its present pot when it was perhaps just about 3/4 of its current height.
Lessons on growing tall:
1) Growth is measured against a standard. I remember how tall the trees were – their initial heights compared to the windows. The past 2 Christmases, we could still hang lights and balls on them. Now they’re beyond reach.
How do we measure our Christian faith? Jesus said if we have faith as small as a mustard seed, we can move mountains (Matt 17:20). The tiny weeny seed of faith we have is planted in us by the Holy Spirit. Even our little faith is by the grace and mercy of God. God is the source, standard, power by which we grow in faith. Faith is not rooted in our own works nor by our own strength but only by the blood of Jesus so no one can boast (Eph. 2:8).
2) Growth is dependent on the food intake – water for the roots and sunshine on the leaves. The bigger the pots, the greater the room for growth… even better still if they were planted on the ground for their roots to spread – wider and deeper. The more sun, the greener the leaves. Just enough of water and sunshine.. no more no less.
So with the Christian life, our growth needs to be rooted in the Word of God. The more we know God, the more we can stand firm in the storms of life. The deeper our roots in His promises, the higher our experiences of His grace and mercy. The closer we draw near to God, listening intently to the whispers of the Holy Spirit – the better we get to know Him. The deeper our knowledge of His character – his justice, righteousness and mercy (Jer. 9:24), the more fruitful we become in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23).
Lord, grow in me faith to know you more, love you more so that all may come to know of your saving grace by the blood of Jesus, in whose name I pray, Amen.