The Chinese Bamboo Tree… Healing Takes Time

Has anyone ever told you about the Chinese Bamboo tree? Like any other tree, it starts from a tiny seed, which is planted in the dirt and watered. Tend to it all  that you want, but in that first year, you will not see any visible signs of life.


So when the second year comes, you continue to care for the tree… but nothing happens. Along comes the third year of watering and caring for the little seed. Nothing.

And again, another year of watering and fertilizing… but still, nothing happens.

And then one day during the fifth year, you find that your little tree has sprouted. It’s beginning to grow! In fact, it is growing so rapidly that in just 6 weeks that tiny shoot that poked through the surface will grow to be 90 feet tall…


Did the Chinese bamboo tree really grow 90 feet in just six weeks? Backtrack to the fourth year, when you saw exactly what you had seen throughout the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd years. NOTHING. Maybe you thought, ‘This is the wimpiest, most pathetic tree ever. I’ve been taking care of it for 3 years and nothing is happening! There must be something wrong with it.’ So you decide to stop wasting your time, and pull it up.

You take hold of that little sprout beneath the dirt and pull with all your might. Nothing happens. So you yank, and jerk, and twist, and tug, but the tree will not budge. No matter how much time and muscle you put into it, you cannot and will not pull that Chinese bamboo tree out of the ground!

For you see, it took all of four years for that tiny tree to grow a root system that would one day support the ninety-foot tree.

I wonder how this relates to life. You know, our relationships, our marriages, our finances, our ministries… our health.

I think too many times in life we commit to work on something. We say “I’ll try this, I’ll sacrifice that, I’ll persevere… I’ll do this right.


And 1, 2, 3, maybe even 4 years into it we look around and think to self “What’s going on here? This is the wimpiest most pathetic situation ever. Zero results. It’s. not. working.”

I think I’ll just give up.

But sometimes it takes 4 years to prepare for something huge. Something life changing. Something massive and obvious and very. much. productive. Sometimes it takes 5 years to see what’s been taking place all along.

Today I was thinking about a post I wrote recently. The Chinese Bamboo tree relates to our health too. It relates to the choices we make everyday about what we will eat, wear, and put on. You know, the dozens of products we use for household and family and self – toothpaste and makeup and deodorant… to name a few.


It’s not a matter of days, or even weeks. When it comes to addressing outer symptoms caused by inner problems, we’re talking about rebuilding here. Inner healing. Rebalancing the body. Cleansing and detoxing. Providing essential vitamins and nutrients. Feeding our bodies with good, pure stuff – whether it goes into our mouths or gets absorbed through our skin, or we breathe it in through the air.

It took my baby brother a good part of 3 years to be healed from serious food allergies, candida, and eczema. He tasted his first bite of pizza one October, during a church family campout. I will never forget that day… the look on his precious little face… the way we all felt as we gathered around to watch… after years of butternut squash and sweet potato {quite seriously, we called it the foodless diet}. 😦

It takes patience. Sometime it’s making a simple choice today, tomorrow, and every day for 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, 4 years.

Don’t give up. Don’t say “It’s not working”. Inside there are always things happening that we don’t see. In time, they will affect us through outer symptoms that we see and feel and touch.

Be patient. Nourishing the body, healing the body, balancing the body, restoring the body… it takes time. Like the Chinese Bamboo Tree, it just might happen in a ridiculously lengthy and unexpected way.


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