Knee High By The 4th of July (Growing – part 1)
Have you ever heard the phrase “Knee-high by the 4th of July”? Where I grew up – and maybe where you grew up too – it is a very familiar adage. In parts of the country where the local economy depends heavily on the corn crop, it is a quick and easy way to forecast whether times ahead will be bountiful or lean. Corn stalks should generally be about knee-high on the 4th of July if their growth is progressing as healthily as it should. If the corn stalks are taller, it is a good indicator that the plants are very healthy and the upcoming crop yield will be bountiful. If the stalks are shorter – the plants are behind where they should be and the harvest is likely to be lean.
It is a very unsophisticated metric – but one that has proven over time to be highly accurate and effective.
Lately I’ve been thinking about this old phrase quite a bit as I drive in to LivingWATERS and gaze across at our neighbor’s field across the road. Each time I look at the corn plants growing in the field, I can’t help but think of how healthy they look and how well they are growing. They will indeed be knee-high – or taller – by this 4th of July.
Sometimes I wonder: What does that farmer think as he looks at the crop in the field across the road from him?
It would be tempting at this point to launch into an analysis of whether LivingWATERS is ahead or behind where we should be for the current season we are in. I’ll leave it as a rhetorical question, but I strongly urge the LivingWATERS faith family to give it consideration. We must have a good understanding of where we are in order to understand what to do next.
What is on my heart to share is this: “Knee-high by the 4th of July” is not the end goal; it is an intermediate milestone along a bigger journey to maturity. The Bible says we are to be expectant of the harvest our Father will provide and to be about His work accordingly. “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” (John 4:34-35, NIV)
LivingWATERS is not at the end of its growing season, we have not reached full maturity. We are transitioning from one growth phase to another – getting settled on our new campus – but there is much more fruit to be sprouted, cultivated, and harvested.
Spring is a season of birth, of seeds being planted and taking root. Summer is a season of growth. The next time you approach the LivingWATERS driveway this summer, take a quick glance across the road and think about LivingWATERS. There are many signs of progress on our growth journey, but however tall we stand on this 4th of July – it is merely an intermediate indicator of greater maturity we expect to come. Be in specific prayer for our body, our members, our leaders, and our mission fields that God will continue to bless His kingdom through the growth of LivingWATERS Church.
God has grown us this far – let’s grow together expectantly for the future!
“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” (Romans 12:11-13, NIV)