The following post was written by Butch Murphy, Renewal Ministries’ country coordinator to Mexico, who recently was named president of the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (ICCRS). Congratulations, Butch!

I don’t know about the rest of the human race, but sometimes I get a bit discouraged when I don’t see any results from a lot of effort put forth.

I found great comfort in something I read recently.

In a remote region of Japan, there is a unique bamboo plant, valued for both its size and strength. The plant is cultivated by the people for the wood it produces. A small piece of the plant is buried in the ground, and watered, and nurtured. However, no results are seen from these efforts for quite some time, because the plant experiences no growth for about five years! Then, in that fifth year, growth begins . . . at a rate up to three feet a day! Within a few weeks, it becomes one of the largest bamboos that exists!

The example of this bamboo plant can be a very good reminder to us, in ministry or in our personal growth. I think we often ask ourselves, “Where is the growth? Where are the results?” We need to remember that our timeline is not always the same as God’s. Perhaps there is something deep, something profound, taking place—something we ourselves are not aware of. Let’s not give up hope! Let’s continue on the journey, trusting that God will bring the growth in His time and in His way.

Who knows . . . perhaps you are drawing close to your fifth year!

Keep trusting . . . keep growing!