I am sitting in a rocker with a bottle, eyes staring at the darkness outside of my window. It is morning, a dark cold morning. The blackness of the earth speaks of night, the time speaks of day. Sometimes reality tells you one thing, but your heart discerns another. It’s supposed to be morning, but it looks like night. Aimee is hungry. I pulled myself out of bed to feed her. Her eyes are shut as she eats. Mine watch the horizon. The light will come. As the sky enlightens, ever so slowly, I notice first the silhouette of the trees. Their branches are strong and dark against the early morning sky. They speak to me about growth, and my reflection on growth begins …
Growth. If. How. Where. When. Why. How do we actually grow? Not in size or stature, influence or reach, but in depth of spirit. How do we grow in the way that matters?
My eyes follow the biggest tree outside my window from its roots to its to sky-scraping branches. Father, how does that happen? How does one grow to such depth and height, such strength and beauty? Is it about my willingness to stay on the same plot of land? My willingness to extend kindness? To embrace humility? To repent? Is it nurtured by memorization of the Scriptures? Taking risks? Holding unto convictions? Is it about reading? Listening? Discipline? Resting? Is it about my attitude holding this bottle?
Growth is a part of life. Things that are alive grow. Things that are dead no longer grow. The way that growth happens is a bit mysterious from the outside looking in, but that is because it is not an external process. Growth always has to do with something internal working its way out. Growth is about space for what is authentically inside of you to expand. The seeds that now press these trees into the sky did not discover their grandeur through an external opinion, impressive presentation, or recognized influence. They were tiny pockets of life inside that were given the right environment to expand. True growth is about your authentic self getting bigger.
There is a lot of pressure in our culture to grow wide with influence, wider with accolades, wider still with followers. But in the darkness of an early morning, in the face of a few towering trees, holding a bottle, I am caught up in the wonder of what it looks like to grow deep and high. These trees are magnificent. They are loyal to their plot of land. This physical stability gives their seed the best opportunity to reach their potential. They are staying still long enough to grow down deep. Their reach is not wide, it’s high, it’s the sky.
Deeper – in authenticity.
Higher – in nearness to God.
Growing deep begins with honesty about what is inside of you. Then, giving yourself permission to expand. God’s leadership creates the environment that you need to grow. He will draw your authentic self into explosive growth if you are willing to let your roots grow down deep in Him. You are God’s seed. He believes in the “more” of you, and so do I. Permission to throw off the pressure to grow wider. Get into growing deeper. The higher comes as a result.
Father, help me to grow - deeper in love with You.
Reflection: Are you growing? What can you do to position yourself for growth?
Katie Luse is a speaker and writer who is passionate about navigating life with eyes on a hunt for beauty.