But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. Psalm 92:12
I was a bit of a late bloomer. I am not speaking physically here, I am speaking in terms of where we rate ourselves on how well we are doing based on the seemingly “successful” lives of others. I was never a conformist, so not sure I ever thought God would have intended any path in my life to conform to any “worldly” and acceptable pattern.
This is not to say I didn’t have big dreams. I wanted to go to college after high school, join the FBI (I said they were big), study criminal behavior…my life didn’t go as I had planned. As I had dreamed. It took detours of my own choosing. I took a long and winding path to lead me to where I am today. I bloomed later than most. And that’s OK, because maybe that is how God intended it.
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21
When I think of blooming, I always think of flowers. I like to garden, and I have found that there are some flowers that I can enjoy for a season in my garden, and then “poof” they are gone. They bloom super fast. But then they quickly start to lose all their blooms as soon as the day gets hot, as soon as it gets too dry, as soon as any adversity comes. They can’t withstand the long, hot, hard days. These flowers don’t make it past one good, hot summer. They quickly lose their luster.
But then, I remember the story of the bamboo. I remember hearing this story when I was sitting in on a lesson when my oldest was a member of our church’s youth group. Each time I see one of these plants in our local Lowe’s, I feel the desire to purchase one-just to remember the late bloomers.
Enter the bamboo plant…
The bamboo plant can be planted from seed at the same time as any other plant, watered and nurtured. Provided the same amount of care and love. Yet, that other plant may grow significantly larger and faster. While you see nothing from that bamboo. The bamboo plant won’t start sprouting any leaves until about the fifth year, and then within six months time it can grow between 80 to 100 feet tall.
Does it mean that nothing is happening for four years? That the seed you are tending is laying there doing nothing? That what you are doing is not making a difference? Or that your suffering, or your twisty path, that may look different is all for naught? No-you; like the bamboo; are growing strong roots. Roots strong enough to sustain you for the journey that lies ahead just for you.
God knows that you are not the average garden flower. Not the average houseplant. Not like the rest that can be nurtured for a bit, walk the same path as everyone else, and quickly fall away.
You are the bamboo. You grow along a different path. A different speed. A different schedule. But you grow strong roots. Maybe a late bloomer, but when you bloom, He knows you will be standing tall.