I read the most impactful story last night to our church at Prayer and the Word.  It comes from this amazing book we are giving parents during our bi-annual Parent Child Dedication, “The Family Blessing” by Rold Garboag (Group Publishing).  I want to share it with EVERYONE, because it helps “keep the faith” when raising children or working with children.  Here it is…

“Zig Ziglar tells the story of the Chinese bamboo tree.  When the seed is planted, instead of sending up a shoot, it goes dormant.  No amount of nurture and attention can rouse it from its sleep. The Chinese bamboo lies dormant for five years with no apparent signs of growth. Then in one year it suddenly grows over sixty feet into a mature tree.

“Even though the tree reveals no visible sign of growth for several years, it still requires the care that would be given to any other seed.  Without such care during its incubation, it would never become a tree. Since farmers know this, they continue to care for the seed – despite the lack of any visible results. Kids can be like Chinese bamboo trees. As parents we may do everything we know is right but then despair if we don’t witness any immediate growth or change of heart.  Sometimes we even become so anxious over their progress that we “dig them up” with our frustration and undo the good we’ve done. ”

What a reminder to continue and not weary while doing good.  I pray that you receive encouragement from this word, especially if you are feeling as if you are making no difference, if you are feeling there is no fruit. Do not give up, God is faithful and He really loves you!

Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.  For the LORD is a God of justice.  Blessed are all who wait on him!  (Isaiah 30:8)

P.S.  This is also why it is not always healthy (or even right!) to compare children to one another. Only God knows the condition of the seed and when it will be ready to break forth out of the ground…perhaps it will shoot up 60 feet, or more?  Wait on him, believe His word to you today!

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