The Amazing Chinese Bamboo Plant

The Chinese Bamboo plant starts from a tiny seed. You plant the seed in the dirt, and you water the seed. Very little seems to happen the first year. Despite your efforts, only a tiny shoot pokes out of the ground.

So…..the second year you water and fertilize and protect the seed…..Nothing happens.

So…..the third year you water and fertilize and protect the seed…..Nothing happens.

So…..the fourth year you water and fertilize and protect the seed…..Nothing happens.

So…..the fifth year you water and fertilize and protect the seed.….Finally, during the fifth year, the Chinese Bamboo plant begins to grow. In fact, it grows 90 feet tall in just 6 weeks!

The question is, did it grow 90 feet in six weeks or in five years? The answer, of course, is that it grew 90 feet in five years. It took five years to grow the root system that would one day support a 90-foot plant.

People are often like the Chinese Bamboo plant. We invest hours and hours trying to develop ourselves or others, and nothing happens.  We spend years discipling our children to follow the Lord, but…..nothing happens.   We hold countless meetings with our staff members to coach them in the development of their strengths and developmental areas, but…….nothing happens. We redouble our efforts to help a friend make better decisions, but…….nothing happens.

If you’re like most people, you will be tempted to give up. Don’t do it! If you give up, the seeds you planted will die. But if you continue to care for the seeds, one day (when you least expect it) the results of your labor will seem to magically appear overnight!

If the Chinese Bamboo plant immediately shot up 90 feet in the first year, one strong wind would blow it down. By growing deep before it grows tall, it gains the strength it needs to withstand the force of heavy winds. Similarly, lasting growth starts on the inside of people. It’s difficult to see that change is taking place, but this is a necessary process. The growing they do on the inside creates strength of character and conviction.

Don’t give up hope! Your efforts will be rewarded!  Once the root system is established, your growth or the growth of those you are coaching will spring up seemingly overnight!



Filed under Change, christianity, expectations, Religion, Spiritual Growth, Spirituality, Teaching

20 responses to “The Amazing Chinese Bamboo Plant

  1. Adeyanju Idowu

    so is the lesson about the Chinese bamboo related to wealth acquisition. The more important virtues of personal character development of delay gratification for future satisfaction is like developing the root system of personal resilience, and discipline; rather than being emotionally excited on liabilities. At 40million pounds, M.C. Hammer still went bankrupt because the basic qualities wealth requires to endure are lacking. These are the qualities of inward development, that could be likened to the inconspicuous 5 years during which the Chinese bamboo develops a special root network to sustain an outward manifestation


    I hadn’t thought about it related to wealth acquisition, but I really like your point about character development. Here’s an article that talks about the importance of delayed gratification in character development: Marshmallow Gratification

    Blessings to you!


  2. aloy

    this message is from God and it is amazingly timely. Just when I thought God has forgotten and abandoned me.I dont even know what to say, I only understand now that God is saying DONT QUIT DONT GIVE UP! I am deeply encouraged in my hope in God and what he promised me about 10 years ago.

  3. Adebayo O. Olajide

    This is quite a Food for Thought. This is equall to Miracle which is a function of Three Elements (That is Faith + Work + Patience) as against Magic people ironically termed Miracle.

  4. Godwin

    Am highly exhilarated to have this message come my way, about the chinese bamboo tree. This has increased my confidence in God. I’ve come to the realisation that God is not yet through in preparing me for my destiny. It calls for my patience, faith, trust, endurance and persistence as I wait for my root (foundation) to be firmly established. I strongly believe it’ll carry me through as I live to fulfill my destiny. I know it has taken about 14 years now, but I believe that in no distant time, I’ll be a mighty and great man of God. God said to me, He is making me like the chinese bamboo tree. Thanks for that message of encouragement.

  5. James nyaga

    Thats waooo,God speaks 2 us smt thro. nature,i think we tend 2 relate more n get encouraged when we relate our current circumstances with nature

  6. Tnks 4 d encouragement

  7. Muindi.K

    I feel encouraged and I will encourage others in the same way!! This article reminds me of God’s promise in 1 Thessalonians 5:24 (The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it). So in all things, HOPE is my DEFENSE. Don’t give up hope!
    Here is a song that will continually encourage you as well
    “Brandon Heath – Wait And See”

    God Bless you all!!

  8. Philip O. O.

    Thats very encouraging. You see, sometimes people wonder how others seem to come out of nowhere and shoot highest; well, it has taken years of unseen vital development. Thats my story and i believe the ’90 feet’ is making me vissible now and in the recent past but the years of true development not many people could see. I have to share this amazing facts. Thanks.

  9. Joshua S. Ager

    This was such a timely mesage. My hopes is higher now and i have learnt to wait not because am that much patient,but because i now know that one day when God leads me out of my current status/situation i will be in a position to maintain it. My roots will have grown and as the bible say in John14:8. I have everything!!!

    Joshua S. Ager


  11. Pingback: Bamboo « beyond words

  12. Pingback: Bamboo; Humble & Meek | Many writers

  13. what a practical lesson for patience and persistence!

  14. Wamukoya Teddy

    Patience pays in all the endeavors in life

  15. concy

    god speaks to his people through his creations of nature… patience and consistent hope will surely bring amazing surprises overnight and we will get our reward for what we were waiting all the years…….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s