A seed sprouted. Amidst the polluted city.
It struggled. In tight places.
It rose up between the cracks of the concrete, stretching toward the revitalizing sun.
Its roots increased, protected in the depths of the nutrient-rich soil.
Every time a passerby kicked up dust of defilement that settled on its leaves, showers of soothing rain came and bathed the pollution away, leaving it fresh and clean.
Growing in a strange environment, yet separated from its surroundings, it managed to survive the neighboring filth.
Year after year, it stretched, it grew, and it became a mighty oak tree, in spite of the storms testing its strength.
And this, beloved, is you and me.
When we receive the seed of Christ into our lives, He “will make His home in [our] hearts as [we] trust in Him.” (Eph. 3:17a NLT)
Then, as we allow Him to rise up within us, we grow in hard places and stretch toward the life-giving Son.
Separating ourselves from the world’s influence keeps the world’s dirt from settling on us. God warns us, “Don’t link up with those who will pollute you. I want you all for Myself.” (2 Cor. 6:17b Msg)
Paul also warns us, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but be a new and different person with a fresh newness in all you do and think.” (Rom. 12:2 TLB)
To receive that fresh newness, we seek God’s showers of mercy and forgiveness that cleanse away the contamination.
Year after year, as we experience trials and storms that test our strength, our “roots will grow down into God’s love and keep [us] strong.” (Eph. 3:17b NLT)
And those who survive and flourish, growing amid the tight places and cracks, “People will call them magnificent, like great towering trees standing for what is right. They stand to the glory of the Eternal who planted them.” (Is. 61:3b Voice)
All because of that One Seed. That sprouted. And grew.
May you grow amid the cracks, as your roots increase, to be a magnificent glory to the One who planted you and is planted within you!