Recently, it seems that I’ve been reminded of so many life lessons and spiritual principles as I’ve taken my daily walks. I think it is because I have been consciously looking at the things around me, hunting for the perfect picture.
You know, the Bible tells us that we can learn many important lessons from nature. Romans 1:19-20 tells us, “what can be known about God is evident among them [people who live on the earth, including unbelievers], because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, that is, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what he has made. As a result, people are without excuse.” I’d like to tell you about one lesson I have been reminded of as I walked a few days ago.
As I came upon the tree in the picture above, I was immediately struck by the size of it, and remarked in my mind, “How long it must have taken for that tree to reach its present size!” Then, I began to think about how the natural world teaches us that things must grow. Seeds grow into trees, animals begin as babies that grow into matured adults, etc. Even a tornado begins as a small twister and gains in size. Now, I will confess to you that I am not good at waiting, and perhaps this is why this tree has spoken to me so strongly. I love flowers, but I have never been good at planting seeds and waiting for them to grow. I don’t know how to cultivate and nourish them so that they will grow, nor the patience to learn. (Not proud of this!) Rather, I just go and buy small plants that have already sprouted and transplant them into my garden and/or pots. Or very often, I purchase an already mature, blooming plant.
However, the Bible does not teach this principle. Physically, mentally, and spiritually we begin as “babies” and over time, we will mature into adults. We are to train our children up in the instruction of the Lord. ( Eph. 6:4), in godliness (1 Tim. 4:8), in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16), and for spiritual battle (Psalm 144:1). Of course, the Lord is present and provides the wisdom and power for all of this. In Hebrews 5, Paul speaks about how all of us should be maturing in our spiritual walk, using the analogy of babies moving from drinking milk into adults eating meat . Over and over again, the Bible speaks of and illustrates growth. And we can see this principle in nature, as the tree shows.
It’s not that God couldn’t create things fully matured or grown. He could, but He does not. God does not create us as computerized robots. God grows trees, people, circumstances. We are told many, many times to wait on the Lord. Psalm 27:14, Psalm 37:7, Prov. 20:22, Isa. 25:9, Isa. 40:31, and Isa. 60:9 for starters.
Wait patiently, trusting the Lord is a principle that we can clearly learn from nature. In order to remind myself to be patient with some of the people and circumstances in my life, I have printed and framed this photo and hung it where I will see it every day. I need to remember to be patient and allow God to work things out in His perfect timing.
How about you? Are you ‘in the same boat’ as I am?