Nature has many remarkable ways of illustrating the growth process. In the case of the Chinese bamboo tree, for instance, the seed is planted, watered, fertilized, and for the first four years there is no visible growth. Amazingly, however, during the fifth year, the Chinese bamboo tree grows ninety feet in six weeks. Now, did the tree really take five years to begin growing? Not at all. Although growth was not visible, the root system experienced tremendous development during those first four years, thereby making it possible for the Chinese bamboo to stand tall and sturdy and secure and to be what it is meant to be in the natural order of things.
And so it is with our own personal growth. Jesus tells us, over-and-over again in the Gospels, in order for us to experience spiritual growth, in order for us to grow and develop into the kind of person we are meant to be, we must acknowledge our absolute, total dependence on…
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