“Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which the loveliness arises.” ~Pedro Calderón de la Barca (Spanish poet)
Spring is one of my favorite seasons, just as green has always been one of my favorite colors. Even the desert miraculously turns green at this time of year. Nurtured by winter rains, all of the dead-looking dried-out plants come alive again, and the ground is covered with a lush carpet of vegetation. No wonder the ancient Egyptians considered green to be a sacred, joyous color. Green is the universal color of nature and spring. Green signifies life, healing, renewal, hope, and GROWTH.
Growth is a natural progression of development bringing change and leading toward maturity. If you eat, rest, exercise and stay healthy, then you will grow. But in addition to physical growth, we need to grow mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. While God has created our physical bodies to require fresh water to survive, the survival of our spiritual lives requires Jesus Christ, the giver of living water.
Life is all about growing in the Living Word of God. Paul the Apostle said: “And we pray…that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience with joy” (Colossians 1:9-11).
Later, Paul adds: “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him, rooted and built up in Him” (Colossians 2:6-7). Notice that Paul uses the word “rooted.” Like tender young plants, we need to be rooted in a firm foundation and nourished by the refreshing water of life in order to grow up healthy and strong. As Christians, we are rooted in Christ.
How deep are your roots? Are they shallow, making it easy to bend and break? Or do your roots extend deep, making a solid support that will weather the worst storms and survive the longest droughts? According to Psalm 1, he who deeply roots himself in the law of the Lord and meditates upon the Word of God “shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither.” God desires that we grow deep roots in Christ.
If you’ve ever cultivated a garden, you know that it requires patience, perseverance, and faith in addition to a good foundation. You can prepare the soil and water the seeds, but the success of your garden is just as dependent on the environment (one hard freeze or a heavy hailstorm can ruin a crop). You also have to stop pests from destroying what you’ve worked so hard to grow.
Consider the Parable of the Sower from Luke 8:1-15. “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.”
The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, but the devil takes the word from their hearts so they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rock are the ones who hear and receive the word, but they have no roots so when their strength is tested they fall down. The seed that lands among thorns stands for those who hear, but they get so choked by all of life’s worries that they don’t make any progress. The seed on good soil stands for those with noble hearts who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. “Ye shall know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16).
God’s Word is Life. But everyone sprouts and grows at different rates in God’s garden. Some people who became Christians only a short while ago have already grown a lot. Others who have been saved for quite some time are taking longer to grow. Either way, fast or slow, our relationship with God should be an ongoing process of growth. Even if we have setbacks, every day is another opportunity to begin the growth process again.
I know that I still have a lot of growing to do. In doing so, I will strive to “Think Green” all year-round.