Waiting Like Bamboo: Learning to Progress One Step at a Time
Over the years, I’ve been asked by several people I know, like I know you have been too, ‘what is your plan?’ They ask because they know my dreams. They ask because they have seen my struggle, and from their vantage point and sometimes even my own, it seems like nothing fruitful is happening.
That seeming reality couldn’t be further from the truth.
I once heard Joyce Meyer talking about growth and waiting on God. She talked about how she’d learned bamboo shoots, once planted, will spend up to five years growing deep roots before actually breaking through the surface. But once they break through they can grow a foot in a matter of hours.
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” ~PSALM 119:105
That teaching was so encouraging but the reality is, nobody really wants to wait like bamboo. We want the deep roots TODAY and the foot-by-the-hour growth TODAY.
All of this makes me think about the deceiving phrase of ‘overnight success.’ Again, one sees bamboo stretching to the sky in a matter of hours and they are led to think that it’s always been that way.
They have no idea the long, dark, pressing that the roots endured digging deeper into the earth, where no one sees, where no one gives applause, just so when the day comes for their shoots to literally shoot toward the sky, they have roots deep enough to support the seemingly sudden progress.
I know that over the years I’ve made progress. I know this because of the evidence of the dirt beneath my fingernails and the scent of soil in my hair. I know this because my mind is still set on my goals and I have the sweat stains to prove that I’ve been working, even if only me, myself, the Lord Jesus and the dark, are the only ones who know it.
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.” ~PSALM 37:23
I can honestly say that now I feel as if my head is moving about in the upward soil now, that the heat of the sun is kissing my crown. I know that soon I will break through the surface and shoot toward what I’ve been working for all these many years.
I just don’t know when, exactly, the breaking through moment will happen. I just know it is near.
So when people ask me while ignoring the smell of the labor on my skin or the dirt on my face, what is my plan, my answer is, to simply to trust where Jesus shines the light on the darkness and there, take the step that is set before me.
That is my plan. Take the next step toward breaking through. Let it be your plan too.
~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!
-Candice Coates is an author, blogger, and contributor to Ambo TV. This article originally appeared on her website www.icameforthesoup.com.