I Asked God To Grow, and it Started to Rain.
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Do you remember the lima bean experiment in Science? We all had to plant a lima bean sometime around second or third grade. As it sat on our classroom windowsills, we eagerly waited for one of the many to sprout.
I homeschool my son, and the time had come for my third grader to plant his lima bean. We planted five little seeds in five white little paper cups and set them on the windowsill of our classroom waiting for a green sprout to poke its way out of the soil.
Homeschooling has afforded me the opportunity to go through school again, and I love the challenge. I am relearning everything from grammar to the American Revolution, photosynthesis to addends and subtrahends, and in Science, I am learning, along with my third grader, that a plant needs five things to grow.
1. Minerals from the soil
3. Carbon Dioxide
4. The Right Temperature
When your heart is set on seeing the Lord in all things, it is amazing what He will show you. Out of this little lima bean experiment, He began to uncover the process of growth as a Christian.
Psalm 1:3 says that the righteous "shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper."
When we strive for the righteousness laid out in Psalm 1, we find that we are like planted trees by rivers of water. We all strive to be those planted trees, don't we? Trees that bring forth fruit, trees whose leaves will never whither or dull, and trees who prosper in all that they touch.
We long to grow.
I prayed for growth, my friends, and guess what? It started to rain. And I didn't like that. I didn't want the rain. I didn't like the rain. I wanted to grow my way.
A plant needs five things to grow, and we also, need certain things to grow as Christians.
Oh, minerals were fine. I liked feasting on the Word of God. I enjoyed serving in His house, leading worship, and being fed while I poured out to others. "Minerals" are great!
I loved basking in the Son-light. The Bible says that when we look to Him, we sparkle; we radiate His light, and I loved that. (Psalm 34:5) The more I grew in Christ, the more Christ-like I started to become, and that was fantastic. Give me all the Son-light.
3. Carbon Dioxide.
Our Lord God gives us breath in our lungs and from the time we were children we have been growing. Every morning we wake up, He gives us air to breathe to keep us growing and nourished. Air, breath in the lungs . . . Check! I'll for sure keep that!
Through all season, God has kept me; and He has kept you. When it's been a warm season we grow and grow, and in the cold season when we are lying dormant, God is still working. I have learned to "go with the flow" when it comes to seasonal changes and if that helps me to grow, so be it!
Rain. Thunder. Lightening. Winds. Hold on . . . I don't want that. I need the rain to grow?
When we pray for growth, we cannot pick and choose how to grow. God causes that rain, and in the rain, we begin to thrive. In the rain, everything that isn't Him is washed away. In the rain, our roots dig down deeper, and we cling to Him and His Word. In the rain, we learn our strength. In the rain, He waters us with His Word so that we grow into Him.
How many times we've prayed for increase and growth and at the same time despised the rain needed to grow? The “rain” in the last ten years of my life has been painful rain - downpour rain - thunder and lightning rain - sideways, frontways, and downways rain!
I despised those rainy seasons for a while. I kicked and complained. I moaned, and I groaned. Until I realized that I prayed for it!
I prayed that the Lord would form me into His image. I prayed that He would remove anything or anyone in my life that wasn’t His will. I prayed that He would “increase me and my territory”; just like Jabez! I prayed that He would perfect me. I prayed all the “holy” prayers, and I wanted to grow, but I didn’t want the rain and mud that came along with that growth. I wanted to grow MY way.
When we pray for growth, we will often find that the rain washes away people, places, things, thoughts, memories, and opinions that don't align with God's word and His will for our lives. It hurts, doesn't it? Gosh, it hurts. But it is necessary if we want to grow.
I don’t know who this is for, but I want to tell you, if you're going to grow, you’ve got to embrace the rain. If you're going to be more like Him, you’ve got to settle it ... it’s going to rain.
In this day and age we don’t want to hear that, do we? We want to “grow pretty,” how we want, the way we want, and when we want. We don’t want the rain or the mud that goes along with it. Remember, that in those dark and dirty seasons, God is growing you.