May 13, 2009 
Lessons from the Bamboo Farmer 
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth 
Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap a harvest if we do not grow weary” (Galatians 6:9 NASB).

Friend To Friend 
For years, I told people that I was in labor for 23 hours.  However, the truth is more like 23 years.  Being a mother has been the most fulfilling, frustrating, exciting, exhausting, mind-boggling, hair-raising thrilling tiring, stimulating, soul-stirring, delightful, difficult, consuming, laborious, uplifting, inspiring, challenging, captivating, and rewarding job I’ve ever had.  Did I mention difficult?  I should have gotten a clue when I was told that having a child begins with a word called “labor.”

I’ve had times when I felt like throwing up my hands in frustrations and saying, “I quit!”  Is what I’m doing making any difference to anyone?  I want result!  Show me results!  Then I think about the bamboo tree.

When the Chinese plant bamboo, first they plant the seeds, then water, and fertilize them.  The first year, nothing happens.  The second year they continue to water and fertilize the seeds, and still nothing happens.  The farmer continues this process for a third and fourth year with no visual results.  Then sometime during the fifth year, in a period of approximately six weeks, the Chinese bamboo grows ninety feet.

Did the bamboo grow ninety feet in six weeks or did it grow ninety feet in five years?  The obvious answer is that it grew ninety feet in five years.  If the grower hadn’t applied water and fertilizer every year, there would be no bamboo.

It is the same way with raising children.  We pour into their lives.  We plant seeds of character, pull weeds with discipline, water with prayer, and fertilize with encouraging words. Then one day, if we are persistent and consistent, we will see beautiful results. 

If you are in the midst of raising your children, or even a parent of grown children waiting to see the results, I want to encourage you to press on.  Don’t give up!  Keep praying!  Keep encouraging!  Keep loving! And one day, when you least expect it, your child will one day “rise up and call you blessed.”

Let’s Pray 
Dear Lord, sometimes I get really tired and frustrated as a mom.  When I grow discouraged, will You help me to keep the goal before me…to raise a child who is a man or woman after God’s own heart?  Help me to remember that You, as my heavenly parent, never give up on me.  Even when You don’t see the results that You desire, You continue to love, nurture and teach me.  Thank You for being my example of persistent and consistent love.

In Jesus’ Name, 
Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn 
Make a list of character traits that you long to see in your child.

What seeds are you planting in his or her heart to produce such a crop?

Make a list of glimpses of good fruit that you see budding in your child this week.

More From The Girlfriends 
Being a mom is the most difficult and rewarding job in life!  If you would like more encouragement in this important calling from God, see Sharon’s book, Being a Great Mom, Raising Great Kids!  

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