One day I decided to give up: I quit my job, my relationship, and my life. I went into the woods to talk with an elder who was said to be very wise.

“Can you give me one good reason not to quit?” I asked him.

“Look around,” he replied. “Do you see the fern and the bamboo?”

“Yes”, I replied.

“When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them. The fern quickly grew. Its brilliant green covered the floor. Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not give up on the bamboo.

In the second year, the fern grew more vibrant and plentiful, and again, nothing grew from the bamboo seed. But I did not give up on the bamboo.

In the third and fourth years still, nothing sprouted from the bamboo seed. But I didn’t give up on the bamboo.

Then in the fifth year, a tiny shoot emerged from the earth. Compared to the fern, it was seemingly small and insignificant.

But then in the sixth year, the bamboo grew to 60 feet tall. It had spent five years growing the roots to sustain it. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive.

Did you know that all this time that you have been struggling, you have been growing roots?

The bamboo has a different purpose from the fern, but both are necessary and make the forest beautiful.”

Reverend Wanje encouraged us to seek God (Matthew 6:33). But beyond that to stay in Him. He said, “It does not matter how persistent the challenge is, there’s still hope for those of us whose hope is anchored in the living God.”

As others are flourishing like the fern, God instructs us to keep growing our roots like the bamboo by:

  1. Serving Him exclusively (Joshua 24:15).
  2. Serving Him excellently (Philippians 2:14).
  3. Serving Him expectantly, “…for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).


What are some ways you can occupy your time as you wait on God, in hope?


Lord, I thank You for You are my hope. Fill me with overflowing hope that I may navigate all of life’s situations with the expectation that all things will work for my good. I trust in You.