I recently captured this photograph in my backyard. While inspecting my small vegetable garden, I took notice of this string bean. Since I do not have a green thumb, every single vegetable is precious commodity!
What I noticed about this string bean was that it was surrounded by lush green leaves and vines. In fact, the bitter gourd vines had carpeted all around and over the string bean plants. I recognized that if left unattended, very soon, the vines would convert my fruitful vegetable garden into a wasteland. While the leaves looked lush and green, this string bean was being smothered by the vines wrapped meticulously around it. In fact, it had managed to stunt its growth by cutting off essential nutrients.
It made me quickly think about how both internal and external factors stunt our spiritual growth. Our internal feelings of unforgiveness, jealousy and bitterness can limit us from becoming the glorious and authentic creation God intended for us to be. External factors which can hinder our spiritual growth includes something simple as someone’s hurtful words, judgements, a smirk, a sarcastic chuckle or even a hypocritical lifestyle.
Which factors are posing to be roadblocks in our spiritual walk? Which factors are feeding our spiritual starvation? Just like the vines prevent the bean from getting its nutrients and eventually causing it to rot, spiritual starvation can feed the disease of sin and cause our spiritual decay and death.
Now, more than ever before we need to be constantly feeding our soul with the steady nourishment of His unchanging word. Jesus reminds us in John 6:35 “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”
When we feed on the living water, we will function as joyful and fruit bearing children of the one and only living God. May He continue to sustain us today and forever more.