In my youth I kept and trained bonsai trees. They are called bonsai trees but in effect they are far from the grand trees they try to be. I would take a small sapling or grow one from seed, then pot it in a smaller pot, and after it settled in to its new home I would start to prune it weekly. Pruning tiny bits off here and there. Eventually I would re-pot it into an even smaller pot so that it had very little soil to grow into and it was forced to stay small and start to look like a really old tree, gnarled and weathered but it was very small.
I used to think these were very beautiful trees, but not so of late. Now I see them as stunted saplings which will never reach their natural potential; never growing into grand oaks and large rustic silver birches, and elegant beech trees, never spreading their branches to house families of birds and being huge eco systems in their own right – but they remain dependant on their keeper to keep adding water and to look after them.
I do not see my relationship with God as a bonsai, but I believe that we might end up being bonsai if we are never given the space to spread our branches, never reach out through the ground to seek fresh soil.
5 Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away.
Jesus warns against a faith that is shallow, but I also take this to mean that a faith that does push past the comfortable. We are called on to bear the cross, bear the burden. We are not called to have an easy chilled life not pushing outwards for Christ.
Unless we reach out in faith, in belief, in really grappling with what we have been told we will not grow from small bonsai to great trees of God. Everything we do for God has to be reaching outward including our worship and when we just accept what others tell us to do and not follow what God has written in our hearts to do this will not be true worship. I am ashamed that sometimes I allow others to put me in a small pot and I just go along with the normal, but I know clearly that God has put us all here to be wonderfully grand trees.
I had a vivid dream which was clearly from God which showed someone hiding under a blanket and holding sin in their hand. Then a scene where the same person was rescuing a person from a cavern being chased by a dragon. After reflection the message seems to be God wanting many of us to come from hiding and to get out and save people from the dragon, from the pit. But unless we accept this challenge from God we will stay as small saplings, in the shallow soil when we are all meant to grow and become great trees of God.
It only remains to ask; do we want to be bonsai or great trees of God?
Dear Lord help us all to hear Gods call and go out and save sinners from the pit by shining the light of Jesus for others to follow.