As I washed the dishes I saw the cuttings on the kitchen windowsill. They need to be planted. The roots have grown long and are searching for dirt to call home.
Such an up-close view of growth is fascinating. Cuttings in a jar of water sprout roots that grow rapidly. But eventually the water and sunlight isn’t enough. They need more. They need to be planted.
Sometimes growing seems that easy and obvious, even in my own life. A little water and light, and I can practically see the changes through the jar. But that kind of growth has its limits. It’s temporary.
At some point I have to leave the protected windowsill and enter the real, messy world. The one where my roots are just as real, but they’re hidden under the dirt of life. The one where I still need light and water, but I also need to draw nourishment from the soil. The one where sometimes there are dry spells or heat waves or cold snaps or downpours. The one where the bugs and irritants are persistent. The one where my growth isn’t always noticeable above the surface.
It seems plants both need to be fed and need to be encouraged to feed themselves. And so do I. I need the sustenance that comes from others pouring into me, whether that be mentors, family, small groups, sermons or corporate worship. But I also need to use my roots. I need time alone with God and time rooting deeper into the word. I need the times of lifting my leaves to the Son and letting Him turn the food of prayer and study into strength to get me through the droughts and floods of life.
Life in the jar—on the windowsill—might be easier; but it’s a fraction of what I was made for. My best growth is still to come . . . planted by living waters.