Growth in the Rocks
We moved into our current home in snowy February of 2005. When spring arrived I was anxious to see what came up in the flower gardens. The first to appear was a single purple hyacinth in the front. I thought it was beautiful. About five years ago we had all of the front landscaping redone. Everything was dug out, new plants put in, and heavy river rock dumped over all of it. Summer, fall and winter passed. As the last snows were melting and spring was approaching, what do I see pushing up through the heavy rocks? The bright foliage of the purple hyacinth.
Hebrews 1:3 tells us that God “…upholds the universe by the word of his power.” God’s simple command to that flower was, “Grow.” Not so difficult with the initial, favorable conditions, but then rocks were dumped on its head. God’s command remained the same, “Grow.” And so it did, even with the load that had been placed upon it.
We ladies can learn a lesson from this little flower. We comfortably pursue spiritual growth in Christ when conditions are favorable and life is dealing us a “fair hand”, but when the rocks begin to drop, things change. A few small rocks we can handle, but what happens when they keep coming? Or when they come all at once, like a dump truck being backed up to your life and emptying its bucket. Then everything is suddenly crashing upon your head.
What do you hear from God? Just like the flower, it is a simple command…“Grow.”
You want to scream that things are too difficult and that this isn’t right. You have rocks on top of you - a huge burden and a weight that you simply can’t carry. Pebbles and boulders with various titles: marital discord, sickness, stress, trauma, financial strain, an unsaved husband, injury, loneliness, busyness, or anxiety. Some of them have names like Jacob, Emily or Andrew.
God says…”Grow.” “So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro… Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,” – Ephesians 4:14-15.
Some of us feel the weight and want to cave. God can’t possibly expect us to pursue him when we have so much going on… he’s the one who gave us all of this! This sovereign God is the one driving the dump truck.
God says…”Grow”. “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” – 2 Peter 3:18. Growth in Christ brings glory to God which is our purpose for being alive. Therefore, there will be no break in that command, ever.
Here is the heart of it all. First, understand this powerful truth is only for authentic believers. No growth is expected or demanded of those who are not in the family of God; it is not possible for them (you have to fear God before knowledge is possible, see Proverbs 1:7). For those in Christ, listen up. The hyacinth grew not because of its own power or ability, it grew because God commanded it to. God will not command something that cannot be done. If God commands something, it is already done. Sit on that truth for a while. For us, this is spelled out in Philippians 1:6, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Christ Jesus.” How is this possible? The answer is found in the same book in 2:18, “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
If God causes a little flower to obey him, how much more will he bring about what he commands to see in you? Trust him in this. When the rocks fall and you feel the weight, keep striving toward Christ. Read the Word, pray to God, be with the Body, and worship him. Don’t allow excuses to creep in and hold you down. Reach upward, drawing upon the strength of Christ and the help of the Holy Spirit. Let the stark contrast of beauty among the rocks proclaim the glory of God’s steady grace in your life. Grow.
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