We have been in a particular busy season of life of late, and now that December has just begun, many others join us with bulging calendars. In these busy seasons of life, when tiredness seems to seep in and the crankiness can result, how do we walk in the light?
Recently, I was in the middle of making a number of decisions. As I chatted through the options with Dave, it quickly became apparent that my heart was not in the right place. As I fretted about possible outcomes and chatted round in circles, it was clear I felt that if I just found the right formula, the result I wanted would appear. While my pursuits were righteous, my heart wasn’t. I was focusing in on my control of the decision-making and possible outcomes that may result. After being exposed to this self-sufficiency, I crept off to the room for a few quiet moments with God. As I opened the Devotional I am currently reading through, Bible verses on trusting God over my own thoughts and plans were the prescribed reading (do you ever marvel at just how well God knows your heart and lovingly prepares his word to convict us?)
These verses included Jeremiah 17:7-8:
“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.”
As I read through these verses, my soul longed for refreshment. As I become frazzled and busy, I crave quietness and time out. Being like a tree by water sounds like a very delightful and attractive place to be! Reading through this, I came to know that the person who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord is this tree. This person has deep roots sent out into the stream, so that it does not fear when the heat comes, nor does it dry up or wither.
For this person, it isn’t a matter of avoiding seasons of heat, instead they expect it and so are prepared for it. When the heat comes, such as the seasons of stress and worry, the seasons of being anxious due to the season of drought, this person continues to bloom and bear fruit because their trust is in the Lord, their roots deeply drenched in God and his word. There is a confidence here, that the season is a set period, and is one that doesn’t give rise to anxiety or the justification and excuses as to why the fruit is lacking.
This was such a wake-up call for me. During this season of busyness, I can be sustained deeply by God. I can pause to consider more of who he is. I can trust in him and trust him, for he is faithful. I can commit my way to him and place my confidence in him, for this brings relief from the work of carrying the burden myself.
As you journey through the advent period, may you not allow the hustle and bustle to distract you from true blessedness; a blessedness that comes through seeking God, trusting in him and being anxious for nothing. Yes, there are times of sending your roots into the stream, of being time-rich and having the luxury of refreshing chunks of time with God; however there are also seasons of drought, times when responsibilities crowd in and busyness restrict us from this quiet growing by the luscious stream. If we press in to him, the joy of the Christmas season can truly be ours. The Spirit’s work in our life can continue to bear fruit, regardless of the conditions we find ourselves in. May you trust in him to sustain you through whatever season you are in, and may we surrender our self-sufficiency, relying in ever-increasing measure on God.