Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Guided thoughts, number 7


Do you enjoy what are called container plants?

I sure do.

The colorful blooms and contrasting foliage aren't the only pretty things; sometimes the container itself is very lovely. Ceramic, glazed, painted, adorned with our kiddos' hand-prints.... they all are special.

They all serve one purpose -- they keep the plant within them "in bounds." The roots of the plant can only go so far before meeting with the obstacle presented by the container! Sometimes the plants even become "root-bound" and can't grow any larger. Try as they might, no matter how much sunshine or water or fertilizer they receive, they can't grow any more.

In fact, some of them begin to wither away once they are root-bound. They don't thrive like they once did. But, if they are given a new "home," a new container, with more good soil and a good environment, they can grow again by leaps and bounds.

Believers are like that, too.

It could be said that we grow and mature and thrive on the good food of the Word. Our roots reach down deep into the scriptures, and we are healthy.

But then we hit an obstacle.
Maybe it's something that someone says.
Or maybe it's that little voice inside our heads.

Can I really go further?
Can I perform this daunting task?
Can I be the person that I need to be?
We are smack-dab up against the side of our container.
Our container. Our faith.

Ouch.
Yes, it's true.
Sometimes what keeps us from doing a task, going further in our walk with Him, or being the person that we need to be, is our faith (or lack of it).

Who has said that He will help us go as far as we need to go?
Who has said that He will help us with our tasks?
Who has said that He will strengthen us to be the person we should be?

Are we relying on ourselves to do these things? No need for that!
I will go before you
    and will level the mountains;I will break down gates of bronze    and cut through bars of iron. I will give you hidden treasures,    riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the Lord,    the God of Israel, who summons you by name. They will say of me, ‘In the Lord alone
    are deliverance and strength.’”(Isaiah 45:2-3, 24a)
Paul gave us a great example of "being at the edge of his container." And this is what he said:
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, (II Corinthians 1:8-10)
How did Paul solve his problem? He relied on God! Amen! Oh, that we would remember this when our faith threatens to stunt our growth! We can't let a lack of faith stop our growth, or stop us from doing what will bring glory to Him. God will keep us in His hands, and give us more soil and a larger container!
Spread out your roots, believer! Soak up that sunshine and rain, and grow for God! If we exercise and expand our faith, there's no limit to what God can do with us!
And now just as you trusted Christ to save you, trust him, too, for each day’s problems; live in vital union with him. Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him. See that you go on growing in the Lord, and become strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with joy and thanksgiving for all he has done. (Colossians 2:6-7 TLB)

1 comment:

Katie Isabella said...

We each need this reminder. Sometimes I think human stubbornness prevents mortals from surrendering.