“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (James 1:2-4 NLT)
When I was a boy growing up in my Nana’s old house we had 4 huge gardens. Come June my Dad would be working the tiller while my Mom, brothers, and I would be planting the seeds. One garden held enough potatoes to feed us all year round. Others held corn, carrots, cabbages, onions, tomatoes, cantaloups, and watermelons. There were also so many flowers. My Nana had a special love for them and nurtured them. Flowers surrounded her old house and every year she would put down potting soil, plant new ones, and sing while she worked.
One June I can remember helping her go around the house pulling weeds and watering the freshly planted flowers. She was so gentle with them and gave them such love and care. I thought it was no wonder they grew so fast. When we where done I ran to get my bike to ride awhile. As I was getting on it, however, I noticed something. I got back off and knelt down on the concrete walkway that led to our porch. There growing out of a crack in the concrete without water, soil, or love was a single dandelion.
At times in my own life I have felt my growth nurtured, watered, and cared for like Nana’s flowers. At other times I have felt like I was that dandelion having to grow through solid concrete. Through it all, though, I never stopped growing. Through it all, I never stopped loving. I realized that it doesn’t matter where you grow. It just matters that you grow.
God loves you so much and God wants you to grow in this life. Make the choice to keep growing then no matter what your circumstances. Keep growing in love. Keep growing in goodness. Keep growing in kindness. Keep growing in oneness with God. Keep helping others to grow as well. Always remember that to live is to grow whether it is through the richest soil in the world or through a crack in the concrete.
By: Joseph J. Mazzella