Hello Good people! Can you believe it's already March? Towards the end of December 2017, God was dealing with me on allowing Him to shape my year. You can read that post here. I can wholeheartedly say, He has been doing just that. In the midst of allowing Him to lead there have been things I have had to give up. There have been areas I have had to change my normal response to. All in His strength that is. I am learning so much about the concept of hiddenness. I wrote about it on my personal blog, but I also wanted to share it here. Let's live for fruit that lasts. Check out my thoughts below!
Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. -John 12:24
So, I have a new obsession with plants. I am not on the level of plant-lady status. I mean, I onllyyyy have one at this point. But, I have been doing some research on seeds/plants and there are so many spiritual lessons we can learn from it's growth cycle.
Life Cycle of a Flowering Plant
1. Seed Stage - The plant life cycle starts with a seed; every seed holds a miniature plant called the embryo. It's important to note that not all plants produce seeds, like ferns and mosses. A seed is a baby plant and contains nutrition necessary to start the life of a plant.
2. Germination - When a seed falls on the ground, it needs warmth and water in order to germinate; some seeds also need light. This is the stage when the plant begins to emerge from the seed.
-It's important to note that during the germination process roots also begin to emerge from the seed. The root is apart of the plant that grows out of the seed FIRST and the roots indicate that the seed will grow. A healthy root system is important for plant growth.
"Did you know that what you see above ground in your plants is really determined by what’s hidden underground? What happens underground, where the plant roots live, drives plant growth. The bigger and healthier the root system, the bigger and healthier the plant. What do healthy roots do? Many things. First, they provide the anchor needed to keep a plant in place. More importantly, roots are the lifeline of a plant, taking up air, water, and nutrients from the soil and moving them up into the leaves, where they can interact with sunlight to produce sugars, flavors, and energy for the plant. That is the magic of how things grow. So how do you get a system of good, healthy roots? Remember seven words: “Healthy, deep soil. Adequate moisture and nutrients.” -Bonnie Plants
Soil is also extremely vital for plant growth. I found another quote that blew my mind in relation to the growth process.
"There are numerous environmental factors that can influence the growth and function of plant root systems. The impact of some of the major soil-related factors such as soil temperature, soil water, soil air, soil strength, and soil nutrient supply on the development of roots is reviewed. Emphasis has been placed on the interaction of these factors with each other and with the genetic diversity inherent in plant roots in determining the impact of the soil environment on root growth and ultimately on plant productivity."
Also, check out the Parable of the Soils to get a breakdown of our personal growth which can be found in in Matthew 13:1-23, Mark 4:1-20, and Luke 8:4-15). After a period of growth (this can be a period of months or years), a flower bud will develop and signifies plant has reached maturity and is ready to reproduce.
3. Reproduction/Pollination - "The final stage of the plant growth is the reproductive stage. Since the objective is now to reproduce, the plant’s energies are directed to the production of flowers, fruits, and seeds. Plants are pollinated by various means like wind, water or bees and other insects. Pollination occurs when the pollen from one plant is transferred to another plant. Reproduction in flowering plants begin with pollination, the transfer of pollen from one plant to the stigma of another flower or to the stigma of another flower of the same plant."
And the cycle begins again.
It's so amazing that this process all began with a seed. In order for a seed to become a plant, it's broken open. Essentially the seed dies and then the growth (of the plant) takes place. No one can see it at first, but the growth that is taken place is happening underground. A healthy soil makes room for a strong root system to be anchored into the soil for exponential plant growth. The stronger the root system, the stronger and healthier the plant will be. Often its easy to get consumed by the fruit, without acknowledging the things that have been growing behind the scenes.
These past few months of 2018, I am learning what it means to be rooted. And there are some days where it feels like death. A death to my way. A death to how I believe things should be/happen. A death to wanting people to be impressed with me. A death to my timeline. And a death to my former reactions. Walking with God and wanting to be obedient isn't always this beautiful and easy process. However, what gives me so much encouragement is mirroring our walk with the life cycle of a plant. And knowing that our deep roots have the power to grow these beautiful things in our lives. Not only that but because of these deep roots, we will reproduce and pollinate. In other words, multiplying and changing our environment for the better.
"In the growth cycle of a fruit bearing plants, the FRUIT comes at the very end. The cycle starts with a seed being planted in the ground." -Banning Liebscher
I want you to be encouraged that just because there is NO visible fruit, does not mean that growth is not taking place. Continue to walk with Him, study the word and be obedient to where He has you. Don't get obsessed with what everyone else is doing that you miss out on what HE WILL do in your life. Don't live for the temporary, live for the fruit that lasts. I am so grateful for what He is teaching me about hiddenness and how the unseen season is simply cultivating momentum for what's to come. Faithfulness wins in the end.
Grow deep, live tall.