5th May - Thought For The Day - Conditions For Growth
Words by Bev Jones
Conditions For Growth
There’s a bush that grows in the desert that produces tiny seeds that are covered with a really hard shell. Scientists say that these seeds need to be damaged by a storm before they’ll germinate. The hard shells keep out any kind of moisture which allows them to lie dormant on the sand for several seasons until conditions are right for growth. When heavy rains finally come, the little seeds are carried away in a flash flood. They are banged against sand, gravel, and rocks as they rush down the slopes. Eventually they settle in a depression where the soil has become damp to a depth of several feet.
Only then do they begin to grow, because moisture is absorbed through the nicks and scratches they picked up on their downhill plunge.
Photo by Artur Aldyrkhanov via Unsplash
When Nehemiah is first told of the state of Jerusalem’s walls, he weeps, and expresses deep sorrow for the sins of Israel. He cries out for Jerusalem to once again be a place of worship and holiness, and then he goes to the place that God is leading him to. Sometimes it’s when we step away from the normal that we begin to see how things really are. I wonder if the church is guilty of having metaphorically laid dormant for a time, as we’ve got on with doing our ‘stuff.’ Perhaps now - as we assess what’s important as we do life apart, is the time that God is penetrating those ‘shells’, penetrating our innermost thoughts and being as we seek his will for moving forward and repairing and re-building the walls of his church.
It’s often those times when things get tough that we turn to God, and if we absorb everything that He is desperate to give us, that’s when we can make the decision to let those difficulties develop us so that in Him, we are able to move forward. If that’s repeated in lots of different lives at the same time, we then have the opportunity to work together to build up those things that have crumbled and decayed. And to come back stronger.
Photo by nikko macaspac via Unsplash
It’s important at times like this that we spend time in building each other up. Our faith is relational and we need to support and encourage each other as we navigate through this different landscape. Yes, the walls need re-building, yes, we need to pray into how God wants to work in us and through us, but we also need to look after each other.
Find ways of encouraging each other so that when we are eventually able to gather together, those bonds between us are stronger and the God we worship will be glorified.
At this moment, the enemy would like nothing better than to make us feel isolated and alone, and so we need to do everything we can to re-build the walls of fellowship and belonging in whatever ways we can. For those of you who haven’t yet seen this video, it’s a brilliant example of reminding us that we are not in this alone. We may be in our own houses and separated, but we serve a God who is bigger than our circumstances, and it’s in him that we are defined. This clip released on Sunday was watched more than a million times across the world in 30 hours. That’s how connected we are. That’s how God will re-build our walls. Watch it here: The UK Blessing