“The righteous thrive like a palm tree and grow like a cedar tree in Lebanon.
Planted in the house of the LORD, they thrive in the courts of our God.
They will still bear fruit in old age, healthy and green, to declare:
‘The LORD is just; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.'”
When It Feels Like You’re Wilting but You’re Wanting to Flourish
These past few weeks I haven’t been praying.
I’ve wanted to, but still, I haven’t. I’m just so busy right now, I told myself. I’ll talk to Jesus soon. God would understand.
I wasn’t reading my Bible either. I saw it, sitting there on my nightstand, but it had been covered up by other things — glasses of water, notebooks, textbooks . . . my laptop.
I had a list of reasons the length of my arm for why I wasn’t praying or spending time with Jesus: I just had surgery, my second art show is quickly approaching, and the amount of schoolwork college assigns one person is still somewhat shocking to me.
All of those reasons are legitimate. But without any time spent with Jesus, all of those reasons were slowly emptying me.
A few days ago I was sitting on my bed, my white comforter beneath my crossed legs. I started crying. “I can’t do this anymore, Jesus,” I told Him. “I’m too tired. I’m too overwhelmed. I think I said yes to too many things. I think I’m going to have to pull all-nighters for the next month to finish everything I need to do. I feel like I’m drowning. No, not even drowning. I feel like I’m withering, like I’m shriveling right up.”
If I was a flower, I was a wilted one.
Because I’m a verbal processor, I was trying to fill up on people. I would talk to people about how I was feeling — overwhelmed, worried, and anxious about all the things I felt I needed to do. Unfortunately, no human was satisfying enough for me.
Jesus — the real source, the One who takes me and my shriveled-up self and breathes life into me, allowing me to slowly, slowly begin to work my way from a wilted flower to someone who can flourish — is necessary for me to survive.
Without Him, I am empty.
Only when I lay myself down, when I give Him my worries and fears and anxieties — including the things that I think must appear so petty to Him — can I finally be full. I want my roots to sink deep into who Jesus Christ is, so that I can stand strong and firm, not on my own accord but on His.
So I started to pray again. I began writing my prayers down, and asking certain people in my life how I could pray for them. I began reading Hebrews, and I focused on how God keeps giving us grace. And slowly, slowly (because these things are always a slow, thoughtful process) I have begun filling up again.
I’m no longer wilting. My circumstances have remained the same, but my roots have vastly changed. May I never again be rooted in my own self, but instead ground myself in Jesus: the rock, the One who will forever sustain me.
Do you feel wilted or like you’re flourishing?
What ways do you think you can root yourself further into Jesus Christ?