Just Keep Growing

It just keeps growing.

That’s an understatement for the wisteria vine we inherited when we bought our house nineteen years ago. We didn’t really want the vine that covered most of the front porch of the house. It was massive and I’m sure had been growing there for decades. The porch was beginning to rot from it’s shade and weight and my husband at the time thought it would be an ant highway to into the house. So before the ink dried on the closing papers, we pulled the vine down and chopped it at the roots.

The vine in all it’s glory before move-in day (2000)

But the vine was not going to be kept down, after all, it had been here longer than us. The first year or so, we’d find it growing out from under the hedges. Long tendrils growing out from the roots and crossing the front lawn. We just kept cutting them back to the root. Then, my husband declared war and began to try to destroy the root base. He hacked it with a ax, dug out as much as he could, and even tried to poison it. But the wisteria kept growing after each attack. We’d come out the next day or so only to find those green tendrils growing across the lawn. It began to feel a bit like Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner. We thought we’d figure out how to destroy it, only to realize our plotting had done nothing.

After seven years of this, I began to have a soft spot for that tenacious vine. I hate conflict and decided it was better to just give in and let the vine do what it wanted, grow. I was really looking forward to seeing the vine thrive while growing on its trellis. I dreamed of sweet smelling blossoms. However, much like my first marriage, it wasn’t meant to be. A truck hit our porch and destroyed it. The vine on its trellis were left standing initially, but soon the back hoe came to dig the foundation of the new porch. When the it was completed, there was no sign of the wisteria vine. I thought it had finally met its match.

The vine coming through the porch floor

Life went on, I got divorced, remarried and my kids grew up. We still lived in the house but the wisteria vine was forgotten. Then one day, six years later, I noticed a vine growing up from under the porch floor. I thought it was a weed but then I looked closer. It was the wisteria vine. Somehow, in the dark under the porch it had kept growing. I told my family to leave the vine alone. I wouldn’t let anyone pull it out even though it wasn’t growing in a convenient place. We purchased a trellis for it to grow up and let it go. Three years later, it began blooming again.

Some of the first blooms

Now, after three more years, the vine just keeps growing. We are finding new growth all over the porch, green tendrils keep making their way through the porch floor. That vine will not be stopped! I have no idea how we will ever contain it. I am sure that it would take over the house, if left alone. First the porch, then the entire three story house!

The wisteria vine is my hero. I am inspired by it’s resilience. No matter the challenge, it keeps growing. We all face challenges that cut us down, bury us, and even poison our dreams. In times like this, I am reminded of the promise in Philippians 1:6.

And I am sure of this, he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Christ Jesus.

God does not give up on the good work that he started even when times are dark. What I’ve learned in my own life is that like the wisteria vine, growth happens even when I don’t see it. For six years, the vine grew under our feet and we had no idea it was there. God’s work in our lives can seem just as hidden. Only in retrospect do we see the growth and understand that God was working all that time.

The wisteria will not be thwarted in its growth. Even if our house is destroyed, I know the wisteria will remain. And we can be just as sure of God’s work in our lives. He will not be thwarted but will continue the work that he started despite the circumstances. Just like the wisteria vine, all we have to do is just keep growing.

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