Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Fern and the Bamboo

Today, I stumbled upon a short story I received during one of the most challenging times of my ministry. I'm not sure who's responsible for writing this piece, but, it encouraged me anew. The last few weeks have been rather difficult due to some church folks propensity to hold on to things that have no saving consequence. Still, I'm determined to work while waiting on God to fulfill His perfect will. Let me share it with you and see if you find use for it.

One day I decided to quit..... I quit my job, my relationship, my spirituality..... I wanted to quit my life. I went to the woods to have one last talk with God.
"God", I said. "Can you give me one good reason not to quit?" His answer surprised me.... "Look around", He said " Do you see the fern and the bamboo?" "Yes", I replied. "When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them. I gave them light. I gave them water. The fern quickly grew from the earth. It's brilliant green covered the floor. Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo". He said. " In the third year, there was still nothing from the bamboo seed. But I would not quit. In the fourth year, again, there was nothing from the bamboo seed. But I would not quit. He said " Then in the fifth year a tiny sprout emerged from the earth. Compared to the fern it was seemingly small and insignificant. But just six months later the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall. It spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive. "I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle." He said to me. "Did you know, my child, that all this time you had been struggling, you have actually been growing roots. I would not quit on the bamboo. I will never quit on you."Don't compare yourself to others." He said. "The bamboo had a different purpose than the fern, yet, they both made the forest beautiful." "Your time will come," God said to me. "You will rise high!" " How high shall I rise?" I asked. "How high will the bamboo rise?" He asked in return. "As high as it can?" I questioned. "Yes ." He said, "Give me glory by rising as high as you can."

Allow me to encourage anyone whose patience is growing thin because process is taking too long, trust God's providence, be patient, He will see you through.


Kevin Pullam said...

Pastor McGhee, it is a blessing to learn of your mind, message, and ministry. It is evident that you are a faithful student and steward. I will earnestly pray that God see you through your season. I am in much the same place. Even more, this "season" has proven to last for quite some time. But, I am trusting and belieiving God for our "Due Season." God bless you my brother.

Pastor Kraig L. Pullam said...

Wow! It appears that you have peered into my very life and ministry. It is clear to me that this is the Holy Spirit at work to encourage not only myself but others. Be encouraged in all that you set out to do. I am in the most trying and uncomfortable times in my 15 years of ministry; your words and insights have helped me; please know that this was for me. I look forward to more in the days ahead. God Bless you my friend.

Keith D. Witherspoon said...

Bless you my brother! This was right on time for me. God Bless your life and your ministry!!

Pastor Lance A. Mann said...

Wonderful post Dr. McGhee. You are a great asset to the Kingdom with your great mind for ministry. I am eagerly awaiting further examples of your heart and passion as I know that we share similar ideals of ministry.

Anonymous said...

Pastor McGhee,

The "Fern and the Bamboo" story was right on time. Thank you for your words of encouragement. Just know God is in control of it all. I will pray for you and the success of your ministry.