Years ago… I used to stay at my grandfather’s house for a week or so during the summer. I have so many great memories of those times and I think about them often.
During one of these summer visits my grandfather and I planted a tree. He told me that it would grow and that one day it would be huge. He told me just to sit back and I could watch it grow.
I took him literally. I watched it all the time I was there and it didn’t do anything! I was hoping to see it grow, but it didn’t move, it didn’t change….it didn’t do anything! I’m sure you’re thinking, “You’re crazy, you can’t see a tree grow!”
I remember the last day of my stay that summer and I asked him why the tree didn’t grow while I was there. He looked at me, paused, chuckled and then he said, “These things take time.”
My grandfather knew that it would be a long time before his prediction would come to reality. He knew that he would not live long enough to see the tree grow to its full majestic size. He knew it would be something that I would remember in the future. And… sure enough few years ago… long after my grandfather died, my wife and I were driving and we found ourselves in the area of my grandparents place. We drove by my grandfather’s old house and there was the tree that was planted all those years ago. It was huge. The biggest tree on his old property.
He was right… these things take time.
It was the completion of one of the many lessons that he taught me when I was a young boy. He knew that there would be a day in the future from that hot summer day that I would drive past that tree and remember him and that special day we planted it.
But the lesson of this tree has taught me more than I ever could imagine.
I have always been a person to question things. There are so many things I don’t understand. There are many questions that I want answers for. I get frustrated at times when I don’t get the answers I am looking for. I am not very patient. Sometimes the truth isn’t easy to find and I want to know all the answers. It is during these frustrating times I have to remember that tree and remember that answers some times take time to receive.
I also used to get so frustrated when I would look at other believer’s. I could watch someone for months and they may not seem to change at all! I could quickly conclude they weren’t really a Christian in the first place or they weren’t really “serious about their faith” because I couldn’t see their growth.
Why do we expect the growth of a person to be something we can see and measure? I have learned that it’s usually not something I can see immediately. True growth is slow, steady and calmly happening…it takes time….you won’t see it but it’s happening.
Again… these things take time.
Paul wrote to the Christians in Ephesus, “Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.”
I have been a Christian for more than 45 years….most of my life…and I still have so many things that aren’t as they should be….but I’m growing. One day, I will finish the race and become what God made me to be….until then I’m going to keep growing and look for the answers that I am seeking.
Be patient and just watch because these things take time.