Today’s exhortation 29/03/18


Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character (Psalm 105:19 NLT).

Beloved, the popular Chinese Bamboo tree; it springs forth and grows 80 feet in just 6 weeks. However, before you say that’s very quick, I read that it only springs up in the 5th year. So, for the other 4 years, what happened to this tree? Is it only because people can now visibly see the tree growing that we assume it takes 6 weeks to grow?

Well, though people could not see anything, underneath the soil, the tree had been silently developing, spreading its roots, ensuring it had a firm grip on the ground; a solid foundation that can sustain it so that when it finally stands tall for people to see, it can actually remains standing.

The funny thing is that it doesn’t matter how much prayer and fasting the tree does, it still has to complete its 5 years sentence underneath the ground. The vision is for an appointed time.

Someone once said, “Charisma will get you to the door but it is good character that would keep you there”.

Year 1, 2, 3 goes by and with no visible sign, it seems like nothing is happening. Can you imagine how we are feeling by now? This is when we start to doubt. Our patience is really tested and we become desperate to see any visible sign to comfort us.

In the 4th year nothing; 4 years plus nothing and then frustration sets in. Many give up at this point. They stop caring, nurturing, feeding and watering the soil. But for those that manage to hang in there, finally in the 5th year, it starts to spring forth. We start to see it grow rapidly and in a very short time, you see an 80 feet tree standing and then, people are wondering where did you come from?

Beloved, if the tree could talk, it would say, “how long have you got? Like Joseph, I was thrown into the ground and for many dark years, I was underground. Nobody knew I was there. People thought I was dead. They walked all over me. Like David, nobody knew of those silent years when I was ignored and left alone in the fields until it was time and the Lord sent for me”.

Beloved, our feature text talk of Joseph whose character was tested by God as he grew.
GROWING IN PLACES YOU CAN’T SEE can be frustrating but like this great bamboo tree, it is necessary for spiritual growth & development. During this period, obedience, patience, faith, perseverance is developed. And don’t forget…DEATH is experienced.

Jesus said…Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over (John 12:24 MSG).

Beloved, if this is the stage you are at, I pray for grace and strength for you to hang in there until it’s your appointed time to spring forth!



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