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.
Psalm 92:12-13 (CSB)
These past few weeks I haven’t been praying. I’ve wanted to, but still, I haven’t. “I’m so busy right now,” I told myself. “I’ll talk to Jesus soon. God will 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, and 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 had surgery, my second art show was quickly approaching, and the amount of work college assigns one person is shocking. All those reasons are legitimate, but without any time spent with Jesus, all those reasons were emptying me.
One day while sitting on my bed, I started crying. “I can’t do this anymore, Jesus,” I told Him. “I’m too tired. I’m too overwhelmed. I said yes to too many things. I’m going to have to pull all-nighters for the next month to finish everything I need to do. I’m drowning. No, not even drowning. 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 conversation was satisfying 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 one that 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.
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 (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.
This excerpt is by Aliza Latta, as published in the (in)courage Devotional Bible and the Summer (in) the Psalms Devotional Journal.
We’re journeying through the book of Psalms this summer, and we hope you are too! In addition to reading a Psalm a day this summer, Becky Keife, our community manager, is hosting a video conversation with other (in)courage writers about what they’re learning from Psalms every Thursday. These conversations are so good for our souls and just plain fun! Listen in below as Becky, Aliza, and Anna discuss what they’re learning from Psalm 92 — and Aliza’s accompanying devotion.
Isn’t it good to study and learn and laugh together? A few of our favorite things right there! Are you journeying through the Psalms with us? It’s definitely not too late! There’s plenty of summer left, and so many wonderful truths waiting in the Psalms. We hope you’ll join us.
Click here to purchase the printed Summer (in) the Psalms 40-Day Devotional Journal for just $7.99! This beautiful printed journal, only available on Amazon, includes forty days of reading selections from Psalms, twenty full devotions from the (in)courage Devotional Bible, and daily reflection questions with lined pages for journaling your answers. This journal is an all-inclusive, one stop shop for your Summer (in) the Psalms journey!
We loving our Summer (in) the Psalms with you.
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Jesus — the real source, the One who takes me and my shriveled-up self and breathes life into me — is necessary for me to survive. - @AlizaLatta: Click To Tweet Leave a Comment
I so needed to read this I’m lonely in a season of transition lost my mom selling childhood home I’m so busy I can’t spend focused time w God. I love this blog I wander away but it’s always here. I need to put God back on top of my circumstances
Anna E. Rendell says
Ivy, we (and God) will be here every day. Whenever you’re ready, you’re welcome – with open arms and no guilt.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
The Summer in the Psalms has been such a refreshing study – especially with the way our world is going. Now, more than ever, I need to be in His word in order to get from one day to the next. No one knows pain and loneliness like David in the Psalms. Joining the ladies for their “come as you are” discussion has helped me to know that I’m not alone and to get some refreshment, encouragement, and refueling from His Word. Do come as you are….
Beth Williams says
God understands better than anyone your busyness. So sorry about the loss of your precious mom. Losing a parent can be hard. Add to that all the other stuff that must be done & a global pandemic makes it tougher. Praying for peace & comfort for your weary soul. Bonnie Gray has a book out called “Whispers of Rest 40 Days of God’s Love to Revitalize Your Soul”. One soul care idea she suggested is breath prayers. Just take a deep breath in & say Jesus then breath out & say help me. It is a simple way to calm your soul & pray at the same time. Just a suggestion to help you in this trying time. Praying God’s blessings for you.
Blessings & (((((((((hugs)))))))))
Beth Williams says
I’ve had many days when going to bed I would think oh oh I didn’t pray or read my Bible today. At first I would shrug it off & say try again tomorrow. Lately with everything that is happening around us I find myself praying more. Taking snippits of time here & there just talking with my Abba Father. More people now need our prayers. Our country & All the people are in desperate need of God’s redemptive love & care. Only God knows what is in store for us today or in the future. Just like David I’m crying out to my Father daddy to come rescue us from the virus & civil unrest. Great post.
Thank you for this Aliza! Appreciate your openness and testimony! Lately there has been a theme in my life of this reminder…There was Jesus…and then recently there is a new song by Zach Williams and Dolly Parton, called just that!!! When we think we have nothing: time, friends, family, work…there was Jesus.
God bless your ministry through the words.