There is a special shrub growing in the garden, heavily entwined with
another plant and they were at the stage of developing new growth. They
looked the same at that stage, the leaves were the same shape, the stems
were the same, and I really could not tell them apart. Without looking
at their root pattern, I could not be certain which plant was which.
Their roots were well out of sight, too difficult to get to, and I wanted to grow cuttings of the special one. From experience I knew it did not grow easily but somebody asked for a cutting and I was keen to share my treasure.
Carefully, I took cuttings of the entwined shrub, feeling sure I have taken them from the right root system, and put them into two pots especially prepared for them. I watered them gently and watched over them for any tiny new shoots. They surprised me by growing easily and I was thrilled when my friend called by and I could give her one of the pots.
Well you can guess the outcome. Within a few weeks, when the cuttings had developed their individual characteristics, I realised I had grown cuttings of the wrong plant.
I went back to the originals and found the two shrubs were fully developed and they were entirely different plants.
It is a lesson on how we grow, too. When the Lord put down root systems for his people, he declared it was for a thousand generations because ‘With those who love him and keep his commandments he keeps covenant and faith for a thousand generations,’ Deuteronomy 7:9.
A thousand generations! He is faithful to us because our great-great-grandparents to further back than we can count, loved him and chose obedience to him.
The Lord grew them in a way so that ‘With deep roots and firm foundations may you, in company with all God’s people, be strong to grasp what is the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ’s love,’ Ephesians 3:17.
If you want to know the outcome, always, always check the root system.