Peter prays for us. This is his prayer: May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. (2 Peter 1:2) As our roots go down deep into God’s love we develop stronger branches and then can produce spiritual fruit. You know what that is. Galatians five lists nine kinds of fruit that should develop in us as we “grow in our knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.” They are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. It takes time in our lives to take in the nourishment from God’s word and let the Holy Spirit water the seeds that are planted and then sometimes it take a long time for the flower to bloom, the fruit to emerge, and then to mature. It never happens overnight and without “sinking our roots down deep.”

Do you remember the Jack and the Beanstalk story? Jack was a bad boy and took the money that his mother gave him to buy groceries and bought some magic beans from a flim-flam man. When he got home and his mother found out what a stupid thing he’d done, he was punished and sent to bed without dinner. In the morning he woke up to a huge beanstalk outside his window reaching for up out of site. The rest of the story is about the adventures in a giants land. The reason I mention the story is that it’s the only place I know where a plant grows up over night! Only children’s fairy tales and Disney productions can make that happen. In real life all growth takes time, nourishment, and frequent watering and nurturing.

We live in a world where everything is instant. There’s instant rice, instant coffee, instant… well, just about everything. If it’s not instant, we can put it in the microwave and make it instant! There are remote controls and other technological marvels that give us instant access. I’ve watched recent TV commercials for cellular phones that give you data and information seconds faster than your neighbors and how cool that is and how everyone should really want one of those gadgets because it’s 4G (or whatever) and they can get the information much quicker. The best things in life truly take time. Spiritual growth is the most important. You can either be a dandelion, which sprouts in a day, or an oak tree which takes years. Remember the Psalmist tells us that the tree planted beside the waters is the one that grows strong and healthy. The changing weather conditions of life do no harm. Although it bends it does not break.

“Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart.” 2 Corinthians 4:1