Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Jesus Where'er Thy People Meet"1 (Lyrics)
Matthew 13:23 – As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty. (ESV)
I am attempting to grow Red Lion Amaryllis plants from seed. I hope to be rewarded eventually with a vivid red flower as big as my hand, which blooms after four years during Christmastide. I thought that it would be a challenge to undertake, and, frankly, cheaper than a dog to look after, in my postage-stamp-sized garden!
Having successfully harvested the black seeds from my mature plot plant, I decided to propagate them. This is done by floating dry seeds on clean water for about three weeks, to germinate. For more than two weeks, no change can be seen.
Much to my surprise and delight, after about three weeks of floating passively on my windowsill, a little white growth could be seen poking through a softened seedcase, pointing downwards towards the windowsill. Then, gradually, more and more seeds showed signs of life on the water.
Later on, I potted the seeds into some small pots and continued to water them. At present, they sit out in the summer sun, in a plastic-covered, damp bucket with green shoots about three inches long! It is a long process. Flushed with my enthusiasm for seeing new life grow, I explained this process to Caroline, who was duly polite in her attention.
In the telling, from my school days, I remembered "geotropism", the technical term for roots being drawn downwards, attracted by the influence of gravity.
The gospels show us that Jesus is keen on kingdom growth and new life, and, in a moment of whimsy, I coined my own word for it:
Deotropism – a turning away from the old self by Christians who continually set their priorities towards heaven by the influence and inspiration of the Holy Spirit developing new growth inside.
Thus, deotropism is a process by which Jesus brings us to life and enables us to live our lives differently, to blossom in the world where we have been planted.
For all Christians, eventually, there will be signs of God bringing to life that which has been latent inside. I believe that He always delights in kingdom growth and wants to see, in each one of us, new life reaching out, growing, and bearing a harvest.
Prayer: Lord, some of us have been dormant for a while, awaiting the opportunity to be softened by resting in Your presence. We rejoice that You did not shrink back from stepping out for the kingdom when You were incarnate. Please grant us the insight and understanding of Your Word by the power of the Holy Spirit, so that we, too, may be able to grow in it and bring forth fruit to the glory of Your name, Jesus. Amen.