The bike trail is long and there is not enough time or energy to go further for some in our family. My six year old boy slants his eyes and looks down at the bike path he just made with his tires. My pint-sized explorer feels free on this never-ending bike trail and doesn’t want to stop. I know before he says a word that we will experience a blowout. If it were only the tire that was going to blow, I could live with that. But this, right now, I feel I can’t live with. It’s that unbending will and his intense desire to never stop working or playing. I try to think once again that this boy may grow up to be the cancer cure. He will lead and go where others may stop or never finish. Reminded of my task to make sure he uses this will for good and not evil, I stand my ground. My husband stands his ground. And there are tears, dust-flinging anger, fiery words and consequences. My three-year old daughter and I go ahead but I hear the ensuing battle. She stops to look in wonder at bugs and I stop and wonder, how in the world this can ever change.
It is the end of summer though and green is everywhere…even after one of the worst droughts in history. I’ve taken notice lately, on my walks, how it comes up through the sidewalks and in the rockiest of places. I’ve wondered to myself (as I do each gardening season) how it is that weeds have no problem sprouting through cracks in pavement while my squash seeds decayed in the ground this year after just the right care (or so I thought).
As my little girl and I wonder together, I notice the rock walls along one side of the Katy Trail. There are twisted vines, plants, branches and tree trunks bursting through and out of the rock. Rock has fallen away and crumbled to the ground. And I’m reminded again, perhaps by the Spirit, of the incredible ability of growth in the midst of seeming impossibility. In the midst of hardness, weeds grow through sidewalks, some seeds in my garden DID sprout and these miracle living plants are bursting forth out of rock.
Nothing can stop life from sprouting and pushing up towards the light…under the right circumstances. I am not sure if my garden and I have figured those right circumstances out yet. I can hope for this though: that I posess the right circumstances for change and growth in my life. The Holy Spirit is living in me and my family and I can experience the holy transforming power of Christ. My son can experience it. We are experiencing it. Some change is slow. Some change must and will happen.
Peter writes about our amazing miracle as Christians. In 2 Peter 1:3 he tells us, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” I am trusting in this. That we will continue to grow more and more like him as we learn about him and walk with him. We are learning how to live through Him instead of operating out of our flesh. It is a life-long process.
The guy who just drove by on his bike only saw one moment and he would assume, likely, that we have some issues. I have a better perspective. I know God is working and we are not staying here. The guy on the bike is riding along too fast to see that there is green pushing through limestone here. Life is pushing up in the most unlikely places.
This particular challenge has ended and my boy is new, soft and smiling. I pray and I wait for more work to be done in him and in us.
5 This is what the Lord says:
“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who draws strength from mere flesh
and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
6 That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;
they will not see prosperity when it comes.
They will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.
7 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
8 They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.” -Jeremiah 17:5-8