The other day we went out and picked the last of our beans from the garden and some carrots that have been growing for months. We've never grown carrots before, and we weren't exactly sure when to pick them. We ended up with quite a crop!
It was interesting to pull the carrots from the ground. The tops would be tall, full of leaves, and from all appearances, I would think that carrot would be huge. Then, when I pulled it up, I was shocked to find the carrot was tiny, maybe only an inch. Some of the bigger carrots were smaller on top. The growth of the fruit was only evidenced by its roots, the part that wasn't visible at first.
It's that way with us, too. We dig deep roots, that secret to thriving, and as we do so we can thrive. Not looking to the outside for evidence of thriving, but looking to our heart, that fruit that is produced in a life of obedience to Christ.
And so I conclude by going back to the verse in Jeremiah that I shared in the beginning of this series. Only this time I want to start a few verses earlier. Jeremiah provides a wonderful contrast:
"Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit." - Jeremiah 17:5-8-
I think the times when I'm not thriving it boils down to the fact that I have missed the simple practice of trusting in God. I fail to thrive when I start trusting in myself. I trust myself to make my kids obey, my husband love me, finish all of the things that need to be done, and try to look good while I do it.
I don't want to be a shrub in the desert. But that's what I'm likened to if I trust in myself.
A tree that needs not fear in the drought? Always producing fruit? That's what I'd like to be. And, so I make every effort to trust in the Lord.
I trust in Him to give me the grace to do anything. I trust in Him to mold me and shape me to become more like Him. I trust Him with the things in life that bring me sorrow, knowing that He is using them for my good and His glory.
And, then, when I put my trust in the Lord, over and over again, I can send my roots deep to the stream of Living Water, and I can thrive.
For a list of all posts in this series go here.