25th October 2017

Bamboo Christians 

“…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
Philippians 1:6 (NKJV)

I make no claim to be a gardener, but recently wanted to find out about planting some bamboo in our garden. We moved to a new house a couple of years ago and have been gradually developing our garden from scratch. We back on to some open fields and, being quite a windy spot, we thought the bamboo might make a good wind break.

But what I learnt was fascinating and has a lesson for us as Christians. The most interesting point was that, depending on the type of bamboo, growing it from seed can be rather frustrating. It can take between three and seven years for a bamboo seed to actually start growing above the ground. Of course, once it does it can grow very quickly and some types become over 100 feet high.

But that’s interesting for us as Christians. Don’t we sometimes feel we are not growing, that the years pass by and we don’t seem to make any progress? That’s both frustrating and discouraging for us, and when we are facing a difficult trial can make us despondent and even depressed (1 Peter 4:12-14).

But in those circumstances, we need to think about the bamboo seed. Although there may be no visible sign of growth, it is taking in nourishment from the ground in preparation for its growth. Maybe we are doing the exact same thing without realising it. Taking nourishment from our prayer, Bible study, sermons at church and from other Christians. To ourselves, we may not appear to be growing, but God can see what we cannot.

Maybe we will not burst into growth until our resurrection or change at the return of Christ. Then we will find that what we thought were fallow and frustrating years were not, but that God was patiently working with us, preparing us to grow dramatically and very fast at just the right time, like some types of bamboo.

So, if you are going through a discouraging time either now or in the future, feeling you are not growing as a Christian, remember the bamboo. You may be a bamboo Christian, taking in nourishment, being prepared for the future and ready to grow like a rocket when the time, God’s time for you, is right.

Prayer
Loving, gracious Father, we can sometimes feel we are lacking faith and the growth we should be making as Christians. In these times of frustration for us, help us to remember that You never stop working with us, and that our future is secure because of what Christ has already done. In Jesus name we pray.
Amen 

Study by Keith Hartrick

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About the Author:
Keith Hartrick is an Elder in Grace Communion Church – Leeds, and serves on the Church Council there.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Leeds
Garden Village Welfare Association
Community Centre
Pendas Way
LEEDS LS15 8LE

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2PM

Local Congregational Contact:
Malcolm Arnold
Phone: 01484-312347
Email: malcolm701@googlemail.com

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