Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Lesson in Patience from Hens and Chickens

I love this picture of "hens-and-chickens" growing in my mother-in-law's New England garden. That is what she affectionately calls this succulent that to her "looks like a mother hen" that "creates little versions of herself." I discovered that this is indeed the name of this spreading plant indigenous to Europe, where it is known for its fire-resistant properties. Hens and chicks "produce clusters of rosettes. The parent rosettes are the 'hens,' and the smaller rosettes that spring from them are the 'chicks' or 'chickens.'" (Hens and Chicks, by David Beaulieu, Guide)

Hens-and-chickens from Mom's garden
As I look closely at the different sprouts, they remind me that, as imperfect people, we are all at different stages of our growth journey. Like gardens, some of us are blooming in certain areas and still infants in others, but we all coexist, hopefully helping one another grow rather than standing in each others' way.

It is encouraging to remember that we are not merely dependent upon each other as we mature. The apostle Paul reminds us that it is God who makes us grow. "So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow" (1 Corinthians 3:7)

Hard as we try, we cannot make someone else mature any quicker than they're ready for; that is God's work. Although at times we are called to confront one another in love, many times we simply need to wait patiently. I'm not sure which is tougher! I do know that a key to healthy relationships that grow and endure is the ability to discern wisely when to confront, when to push gently, and when to wait.

In Ephesians 4:2, Paul urges us to "be patient, bearing with one another in love." And when love's many attributes are listed by the same apostle, the very first one is this: "Love is patient." (1 Corinthians 13:4) Our patience with one another in our different stages of growth reveals our love, and it is also a mark of our own maturity.

Our journey through life is full of challenges and struggles, but it is also full of wonder, joy and miracles. As we all grow together, "let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds... encouraging one another..." (Hebrews 10:24,25) As we do that, it helps to recognize that God is more interested in our growth than we are! So let us trust Him with our journey and that of others, doing our part each day, thankful that God will help us all mature into the blessed people He created us to be - in His time.

Let us be patient with one another and, as we wait, may we choose to love!
Dr Mari


  1. Dr. Mari,
    I must confess that every time I read your blog God speaks to me. But this time it is very personal! My theme for this year(this season, this homeschool year) is on God's timing and how crucial it is for my life. His word has spoken to me in these scriptures John 7:4 1 "My time is not yet here,because my time has not yet fully come" and John 2:4 "my hour has not yet come" or Luke 1:20 "my words, which will come true at their appointed time" I am a visual learner and to see the Hens and Chickens picture makes sense. It all does! Dios es tan bueno y en su infinita misericordia,amor y gracia nos deja saber exactamente lo que necesitamos. Gracias por permitir que El Espiritu Santo de Dios te use para su gloria. May God continue to bless your ministry. I love and respect you. Idaliz

  2. Hi, Idaliz! Thanks for your beautiful comment; what a blessing to receive it! I just did a quick search of "appointed time" on Bible Gateway and it listed some wonderful scriptures. Awesome to look at one after another... How great to remember - yes! - that God made a season for everything, and that all things bloom in their/His time. I know He has great plans for you (Jer 29:11)! Enjoy this year as you continue to trust Him.


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