I heard something very interesting about the bamboo plant. Bamboo can take up to six years to grow. Some kinds develop faster, but the Chinese Bamboo plant takes five years of fertilising, watering, sunshine and nurturing before it begins to grow, but once the Chinese Bamboo takes off it can grow twenty-four metres high in six weeks – that’s about four metres a week!
Have you ever prayed and prayed about something, and it seemed that God had no intention to answer your prayer? Have you ever pursued a dream and it never seemed to take off? Perhaps you’ve worked hard at something and invested time, finances, energy and prayer into it, and yet you’re not seeing the desired return on your investment.
In Hebrews 11:13 we read that many of the great heroes of the faith had the same experience: ‘All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth’. From verse 17 to verse 30 of Hebrews 11, every verse starts with ‘By faith’. Even though all these people we read about never saw the fulfilment of the promises they held on to, they continued to push on BY FAITH.
I’ve learned that God often seems to take His time with the things I feel need His urgent intervention, but He’s never late. The truth is that He’s far more interested in the journey I’m taking with Him on our way to the breakthrough. He’s busy maturing me and watering my ‘bamboo faith’ by His presence, His Word, and His still, small voice. And yet, I’m the one who constantly wants to investigate the soil to see if there isn’t perhaps a little sign of growth showing for my ‘bamboo-faith’ plant, and trying to make sense of why I don’t see the visible results yet. I’m the one who tries to find excuses for God as to why He may not have come through for me in the way I envisioned He should have by now.
However, I’m learning that I need to lean into the journey He’s leading me on. I’ve come to realise that it’s packed with treasures I would never have seen and experienced in the good times, and in the ‘little-faith-needed’ circumstances. This journey is about His image which He’s busy forging in me, and about the strengthening of our relationship in this process of trusting and pushing on in faith, and about deeper intimacy with Him.
I have a few ‘bamboo-faith’ plants that still haven’t sprung up, and I do still get impatient with the seeming lack of progress from my perspective. But I’ve come to appreciate the journey God and I am on. So I tell you “Keep on keeping on! Don’t dig up your bamboo-faith. Allow God to cultivate the ground while you remain faithful in prayer, faithful in trust and faithful in your relationship with Him”.
‘But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance’ (Romans 8:25).
Prayer: Lord, Your Word is clear that without faith it’s impossible to please You, and that You’re a rewarder of those who diligently seek You (Hebrews 11:6). Forgive me for sometimes becoming impatient with Your timing and perfect plan for my life. My desire is to please You and to press in by FAITH when I can’t see. I trust You, Lord! Amen.
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