Word for the Way: Growth

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“I will make them and the places around My hill a blessing And I will cause showers to come down in their season; they will be showers of blessing. Also the tree of the field will yield its fruit and the earth will yield its increase, and they will be secure on their land Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bars of their yoke and have delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them.” – Ezekiel 34: 26-27

All around where I live I see these silos with trees growing out of their center. They dot the landscape like quiet sentinels bearing witness to what once was but is no longer. We still heavily identify as an agricultural community; but not like we once were. Where once there were many farms, now there number is fewer. An exodus of sorts has occurred; farms have closed and folks have moved to where there are newer, better, or simply other opportunities. All that is left are these silent monuments; a majestic reminder of the past filled with new life sprouting from its core.

As I look at them along my way I can’t help but stare at their oddness. It seems at first glance an unlikely place for a tree to grow. Yet here they are. These silos with their new found tenants remind me of a simple truth; life finds a way. These silos would seem to be done for; they’ve spent their years of usefulness and now sit alone to crumble away. Yet a new purpose has been unexpectedly found for them. Once they stored the fruit of the harvest; or they stood by full to the brim with nourishment for livestock. Now they’ve been re-purposed by God into nurseries for fledgling trees.

How wonderfully they fulfill this purpose! The soil at their center is rich and fertile. Their walls protect the budding saplings as they grow. Light and water are funneled to roots desperate for nurture. With time these trees breach the tops of their silo nurseries; a canopy unfurls and what has been growing in secret is now present for all to see. It’s funny how growth works; so much can happen that is unseen until, one day, the fruits of so long a process are there before your eyes. Now birds can nest in it’s branches, onlookers can marvel at the sight of new life, lungs can be filled with the gift of the breath of God…poised and ready for his praise. Life finds a way.

That’s a core theme of the Bible, despite sin, death, and the devil; despite all that is around us that says contrary, life finds a way. Life for the people Ezekiel was prophesying to wasn’t pretty or easy. Yet despite it all we find these words from Ezekiel, words of hope and promise and life. God will cause showers of blessing to come down, trees will yield fruit, the earth its increase, security and deliverance for all; blessing will be found where there was none nor seemed to be any hope of any.
Life finds a way. When all seems finished and done; life finds a way. When usefulness seems spent and death waits around the corner; life finds a way. When memories fade and hope runs thin; life finds a way. God sends showers of blessing upon the barren and parched soil of our lives and slowly, secretly the miracle gathers strength until one day, at long last laid bare before eyes we see the toil of God’s fruitful work, the blessing of growth.

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