Trust: Growing like a Tree
In my last post, I talked about being called to living a life from the inside out. Today, I want to explore the importance of trust in living and walking hand in hand with Jesus. Although it might not be talked about a lot in church or in other spiritual gatherings at the core of our walk of faith is the trust and courage of taking the hand of Jesus, which can often take us places we never expected to go. Some people like to plan things out very carefully. Taking Jesus’ hand can take us to unexpected places. Over time we learn to be more comfortable with the unexpected.
Jeremiah 17: 7 (NLT) But blessed are those who trust in the LORD (Jehovah) and have made the LORD their hope and confidence.
When we come to a place where we realize we need God in our life, we find our self in a place where our heart is softened or even broken. I would venture to say that the process of conversion is rarely an intellectual experience. After the salvation experience it can actually be a struggle to maintain heartfelt journey in faith. Having a soft heart, a heart of flesh, is core to having a fruitful walk of faith with our savior and maintaining a sense of closeness to our creator.
Ezekiel 11:19 (KJV) And I will give them one heart, and I will put and new sprit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh.
In this walk of faith, growth is unavoidable when we have a good source of nourishment. In preparing to write this post, I did a little research into what others have posted on the topic and found myself a little let down with the approach of the posts I found. If asked to close my eyes and imagine a picture of what growth in faith looks like the image that comes to mind is relational; an image of my hand being held out grasping the hand of Jesus. Most of these articles leave the imagery of Jesus’ hand out and instead only give an image of your hand holding a Bible. Even when reading scriptures, praying, worshiping, I try to keep everything focused on relationship with Jesus as a personal reality of him as a person next to me. In relational growth with my creator, I have a drive to always include imagery of Jesus with me as well as knowing that means making space for His Spirit to be my source. With Jesus as our source we will have growth that is from the inside out.
Jeremiah 17:8 (NLT) They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.
Over the last few weeks, this verse which draws the analogy of us as believers being like a tree planted by the water has been on my mind. Trees grow from the inside out. When I was young I learned that all the new growth of a tree happen in the core of the tree. As a tree grows it expands each of the layers outwards and eventually become the bark of the tree, eventually cracking and falling off. Every living thing has this natural cycle; as people we even shed our dead skin like bark on a tree, this is one way living things experience both life and death during growth. It is natural and by design. And the water of this river is the conduit that delivers nourishment to the tree.
John 4:14 (NLT) But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.
So, I encourage you and myself to live an inside out life; knowing that our tap root is fed by a river of living water. Knowing that like a tree that the core is where all the growth happens. Having a spiritual walk with Jesus’ like this will help us produce fruit in all seasons.