I have observed a few plants grow on our balcony over the last month or two. Our orchid plant looked dry and old and I wondered how it would ever bloom. The 'shy' plant I pulled from the roadside was around 10cm in length and I was doubtful it would be able to thrive after being uprooted and carted home.
Now however, the orchid plant has begun to bud and the shy plant sits a proud 30cm tall with multiple other stems growing from the soil. Small yellow flowers are even appearing on the stem. Our plants are now thriving.
The shy plant standing tall after much nourishment over months. It closes itself completely during the night and opens, as in this picture, in the day.
One of the little yellow flowers growing on the shy plant.
The shoot (above) from which the orchid flowers (below) are beginning to bud.
The reason for all this growth is the constant and consistent nourishment we have provided for them. We have been watering them twice a day, they sit in good soil and they are in a good spot - in the full glare of the Sun on our balcony.
If we nourish ourselves with the words of life, we too, against seemingly all the odds, may experience a greater growth than we had imagined. That improvement may not be noticeable in the short term or if we pre-occupy ourselves with it in excess, but as we diligently feed and water ourselves and expose ourselves to the light of the gospel, over time, we bud, and bloom, and stand tall.
This principle has many areas of possible application. With our daughter Lauren, we see that things can't be taught in a rush or without due care being taken to explain things through. We need to repeat certain acts or words over and over again, constantly nourishing her with good things, so that even at times, it doesn't appear to be having an effect on her, occasionally she pops up with special little moments where our careful feeding of her has paid off beautifully.
We always give Lauren a hug when she's not well, when she's tired, when she's sick of walking. A friend of ours recently gave us a tiny terrapin to look after, but unfortunately it isn't very well at the moment. We told Lauren of the terrapin's situation, and she replied: "It probably needs a hug!"
Our own testimonies of certain truths and principles similarly grow like plants and flowers. Nothing dramatic, just millimetre by millimetre, little by little, step by step, we develop a knowledge and conviction of things to do with eternity until what we couldn't previously see, materializes before our very eyes, like flowers opening to show their majesty.
These little pink beauties start as tiny snot-ball sized (sorry, that's the only thing I could think of, of comparable size!) flowers on the edge of a stem, until they grow, and suddenly open (below) where they live but a day or two before the wind blows them away.