In his recent post on 5 Ways we Grow, Tim Challies gave me a good picture of the patience that is required when we’re looking for growth (in our own lives, or in the lives of our children).
We are an impatient people accustomed to instant gratification. But fruit grows slowly. A fruit tree grows gradually and over many years of careful and deliberate cultivation. If you purchase a sapling apple tree today, a sapling which is already more than a year old and well established, and if you plant it in the right climate zone and in fertile soil, and if there are other trees nearby that can help pollinate it, and if you care for it exactly as you should, it will probably be close to 5 years before you see the first apple dangling from the end of a branch and many years beyond that before it is at its top production, bearing the most and best fruit.
In the middle of raising three young children, it’s easy to forget this and become impatient.
Sometimes it feels like we’re teaching the same things over and over again.
We don’t always see the growth we want to see.
Change doesn’t happen as quickly as we expect.
But as Challies points out, growth in godliness is gradual, and not always visible from the outside. And yet, when God is at work in our lives, growth is inevitable.
Let’s pray that God will work this strong, gradual growth in our lives and in the lives of our children.