I’m what you might call, the accidental green thumb!
Let’s just say, I haven’t had a whole lot of success over the years with keeping plants alive. That is until my beloved spider-plant experience. A dear friend gifted me with a small cutting of a spider-plant about a year ago which I had in a little glass jar of water. Amazingly the root system took off and from there it has grown into a large plant that has reproduced time and time again.
Not all the off-shoots have worked out, but most have. And while God has spoken a lot to me through this process, most recently he has been speaking to me about growth. And what can help growth and what can hinder growth.
Is the pot helping or hindering?
Once my spider plant had established a root system, I put it in a pot. And even though it was restricted to that pot I still saw quick initial growth.
However, after a while the plant outgrew the pot it was in. The roots grew and were beginning to shoot out of the bottom. The leaves were beginning to burst and if I didn’t give it more room, its growth would slow and could potentially die. It needed a deeper pot, so the roots could go even deeper and draw nourishment from new soil.
Colossians chapter 2, verse 7 says, “Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him, so you will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught.”
We should be growing in our faith. But in order to grow we need to get our nourishment and strength from God.
Jesus as the vine, God as the gardener
John chapter 15, verse 1, Jesus says, “I am the true vine, and my father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit, he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”
Verses 4-5 Jesus continues:
“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself, it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
I don’t know about you, but I want to produce much fruit in my life and I know that apart from Christ, I can do nothing.
I pray God will continually prune me and cut off anything that is not going to produce healthy fruit.
Ready to be planted
Plants are not meant to remain in pots. Pots can limit our growth capacity.
A root has endless potential if its growth isn’t restricted by a ‘pot’.
Pots could mean different things to different people. People could put God in a pot of religiosity, unbelief, past experiences, unrenewed thought life, rebellion, just to name a few. Anything that holds us entrapped or restricts our growth.
However, once a plant is put into the open ground, there is endless room for it to grow and stretch and really there is no barriers for the roots to keep going deeper and deeper.
Colossians chapter 2, verse 19
“…and we grow only as we get our nourishment and strength from God.”
God wants us to grow, wants a close relationship with us, wants us to go deep with him and produce much fruit.
John chapter 14, verse 8:
“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
Signs you’ve grown
How can we tell if we’ve grown or not? Growth will look different to the individual. Some signs for me have included how I think and being aware of thoughts that don’t align with that of Christ.
How I use my resources like time and finances has changed. My focus, attention, values, dreams and visions have all shifted. What I watch and listen to and who I want to spend time with has also changed.
Even my physical tastes have changed a little; with some food and drink losing their appeal.
My words and tone of speech, and my compassion and empathy for others has grown as has my love for others.
Have I arrived? Of course not! This is a continual process but there is growth there and my prayer is that I continue to grow and produce much fruit.
And the key is to keep abiding in Christ, and allowing God, our gardener to prune us.
Jo Fuller lives on the Sunshine Coast with her young family.
She loves to read and write and learn and grow.
Her archive of articles may be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jo-fuller.html