“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?
I’ve been studying Luke with First5 and I am finding myself kind of kicking myself in the butt for ignoring or under-rating or simply not placing enough merit into Jesus spending time alone in prayer. If he needed it. . .then I need it more. And the more I do it. . .it changes me. It’s so easy to get side tracked. . .and that is the moment to drop everything and seek Him. If not immediately. . .then ASAP. I wilted the past 2 days. . .but today I’m changing that. Thanks for the reinforcement and (in)couragement.
Aliza Latta says
I kick myself in the butt about that too, Eunice. It’s so true — Jesus spent so much time alone in prayer, so why shouldn’t I? Thanks for the reminder!
What a perfect passage to celebrate my birthday today!! There are days when I’m feeling a little “dry and withered” so I am grateful that today I get to spend time in the house of the Lord, and the rest of the week in His Word. It doesn’t get better than that, I am finding , with each passing day, year…lifetime!
Blessings to you for a day, year, lifetime filled with all His goodness!
Beth Williams says
Happy birthday sweet sister! Yes being in the house of the Lord with fellow believers. It is so great!!! I pray you have a great birthday and God gives you many many more to celebrate!!
Tricia Willans says
Yes we all get these times of being over busy with the things of this world. and especially at this time of year BUT it is only with Gods unfailing love and guidance that we can get through those times. Like you I get times when I dash right into the day,
and omit to have my prayer time and Bible reading. The Lord reminded me last night to rest in him more and to not
forget to start each day with HIM – also to pray on my knees more and to praise and worship him daily. You know,
one does feel so much better starting each day praying and reading Gods word.
Leanne Porterfield says
Thank you for helping me to see, in my own heart and life, that I need to turn from trying to process life through conversations with others, through countless google searches… and turn to my Lord and Saviour… let His love surround me, let the guidance of the Holy Spirit be the leading in my life.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Again and again I am amazed at your spiritual maturity. At your age, even though I claimed to be a Christ follower, I did not have the wisdom to know what I was lacking – time in His Word. Like you, I would tell friends my troubles, hoping somehow the verbal release would perk me back up. Perhaps it did, momentarily, but it wasn’t lasting; it didn’t have staying power. I have learned that there is no substitute for being in God’s Word and praying and communing with Him. I’ve learned that even one line of scripture devotionals (I call these “Truth-lite”) don’t do the trick. I need to be reading passages and books from my Bible (chunks at a time) and asking the Holy Spirit to work God’s Truth into my heart. I’ve found no other substitute will do. Now do I always do this?? No. Like you, I’m human and I fall back on my own dust like self sufficiency. God, however, is so merciful to always welcome me back to His arms- time and time again- when I am completely wilted. Praying for you sweet sister that, in Him, you will have the strength to do all things. ps. It is okay…even Biblical to say “No” to some things if they are going to deplete you and steal your joy.
Blessings, prayers, and ((hugs)),
This is exactly what I’ve been going through. My husband and I are almost 2 years of infertility and I’m so tired. The holiday seasons make it harder and seeing fb announcement after facebook announcement. But I’ve realized I’ve not been filling my mind with the the Word and meditating on His truths. I spent a lot of time in Psalm 77 and using that as an example of suffering and how to dig yourself out of the pit to worship God. Thanks so much for sharing today. I needed it
Kathleen Burkinshaw says
I’m definitely wilted. Thank you for reminding me where my roots of faith are grounded. Sending prayers and a hug.
Jeanne Drouillard says
Great sharing thank you for putting into writing what I often feel like . I’m reminded my strength only comes from Him and Him aline
Beth Williams says
Such wisdom from a youngster. Yes. I agree we can all feel depleted, wilted. God is the only one who can fill us up. I find some days I don’t always pray during the day-just to busy I say. I feel guilty at night and start praying my prayers over my hubby and friends. If I should wake at night I pray and thank Him for All the goodness He’s bestowed on me.
Praying for strength and endurance to handle and finish everything. Give yourself permission to say no to things. That way you will have time to be filled up again!!
Thank you for sharing Aliza! I too have been neglecting my time with Jesus so I really needed to see this today. Blessisings today and always ❤️
No longer rooted in self, but in Him. Love that. Beautiful words this morning, Aliza. Thank you for sharing. ((hug))
Rebecca L Jones says
Aliza, you and millions of others I’m sure. I know people with gifts and callings that feel as though they are about to die. They are so drained and exhausted. Labor for that rest, Hebrews 4. Funny huh? You have to work for His rest but it is so worth it. Keep your eyes on Him, He has to have first place and everything will fall into place. And Bev is right, just so no to some things, we are God pleasers not people pleasers.
Rebecca L Jones says
I meant just say no.
Thank you Aliza. Love your sharing sister…a timely reminder and encouragement, especially during this time of the year and as we make decisions re commitments for 2017.
Btw all the best with your art show!
That’s great that you remembered just what to do to help you in your tough circumstances. I need to remember to cry out to God too with my concerns, rather than my husband.
Thank you. I needed to hear this today.