The day-to-day stress of life can sometimes be enough to crush boulders. Between finances, politics, loved ones, planning for the future, and reflecting on the past, the pressure of daily life is sickening. I know that I’ve had moments where sometimes I threw in the towel and said I’d try again tomorrow. Somewhere in the world, a college student is re-watching the Office with three papers due in the morning.
I’ve recently learned that faith should be what sustains you but for years I wasn’t like that. Faith was often a fickle thing, when it shouldn’t have been. When things were great, I’d take Him for granted, things get hectic, I’d slowly make less and less time for Him, and when things finally fell completely apart, I’d be search desperately for Him. However, like I mentioned in Waiting on Fruit to Grow, God wants to share in our entire lives, not just to get you out of trouble.
But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,Jeremiah 17:7-8 (niv)
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.
Even this week, the spiritual high that I’ve been feeling all year seems to have shifted. I’m in a brief season of uncertainty and my stress levels are high. My emotions are heightened and things aren’t as easy to be patient about as with earlier this year. The panic has creeped in. The fear of repeating the past has returned. The old feelings of lust have been testing the windows of my clean spiritual house, and I stand inside, freaking out because I feel surrounded and alone.
He who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.mATTHEW 13:20-21 (nkjv)
Feelings are deceptive. Emotions lie. I have to take these moments and remind myself about the promises that God has told me. I have to remember the Lord is always with me and that I am never alone. Then I realize that Papa, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are here with me. I have a house full of my family. I just pull the blinds, turn on some music, and party with my Loved Ones. Jesus really knows how to throw a good party.
The more chaotic things I face in my life, the more I have to dig deeper. Whether it is reading, writing, singing, praying, or talking about God, I found the things of God to give powerful comfort. I forget my worries and really feel new. My most recent joy is talking about the Bible, how wild some of the stories are, and the potential lessons from them. It makes me so happy and I crave more opportunities like them in my life.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.John 15:1-8 (NKJV)
I mentioned me freaking out over a really big decision that I am in the process of on Twitter a few days ago. I was super down and really needed to just hear some kind words. I kept playing encouraging Gospel but it persisted. I called my mother and she just encouraged me. I was crying on the phone because I was just so raw. Then, I looked on Twitter and a handful of my friends reached out to say they believed in me. Without even knowing what I was talking about, they believed in me. It was like God’s arms were wrapped around me.
Some of these people that supported me, I haven’t spoken to in months. Some I spoke to recently. But, they all were expressing a belief in me and my decisions that I didn’t see in myself at the moment. Some said they look at what I’ve gone through in my life and use that as motivation to keep going. That’s why I write this blog, so that people don’t feel alone with the questions, feelings, or total lostness that comes from wandering this world. I feel all the same things you feel, you are not alone. I didn’t realize that people get that from me. I didn’t see the fruit right in front of me.
You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.Matthew 7:16-20 (NKJV)
After seeing from fruit and remembering the Lord, I was revitalized. It finally made sense why the Bible talks about being a tree so often. A newborn sapling starts off small, is very fragile and easily broken. But given sufficient support, protection, and nutrients, it can grow into a mighty tree, providing rest, safety, and food for those that need it.
I’m still growing but I want to be a mighty tree. Even as strong winds try to uproot me, I am staying firmly planted in the Lord. I swayed but was unbroken in the storm. The more time I stay connected to the living waters, I will continue to have more opportunities to grow. I bare fruit now, but I want to continue until my assignment is done. It’s hard at first, but stay rooted in the Lord.
The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,Psalms 92:12-14 (NKJV)
He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Those who are planted in the house of the Lord
Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
They shall still bear fruit in old age;
They shall be fresh and flourishing
Turn Your Brightness Up!