We all go through different seasons of change. There are moments when there are storms swirling around us and there are also moments when there are storms raging within us. We will have seasons of strength, seasons of weakness, seasons of joy and of heartache. And in each season, our relationship with the Lord may be tested. I have often thought to myself: in these seasons of immense change, how can I remain firmly rooted in faith?
In my morning study of the Word, I found myself reflecting on Matthew 18-23, The Parable of the Sower. In it, Jesus serves as the sower of mankind. The Word serves as the seed, and the soil we find ourselves in depends on if we are willing to accept God's gift of grace and grow in His truth. A heart that is open to receiving Jesus provides good soil for the seed of the Word to truly take root and prosper in our lives. We are saved by grace, but we bloom when we open our hearts to the promise of sanctification and work toward living our most fruitful lives.
As a Christian, I know that this message is such an uplifting tale of hope. My faith in God's grace is strong, but my faith in myself is not. I do not always feel like I am the good soil. Sometimes, I feel like I am the rocky soil. Sometimes, I worry that my roots are shallow or that I'm not equipped to handle the thorns and weeds that the toil of life may bring. I can often feel discouraged and like I am falling short as a believer. I think it can be easy to have seasons of change where we feel far from fruitful. We may even find our faith shaken by the rough winds of our circumstances. It can be easy to start feeling discouraged and even distant from the very grace that saves us.
But we can bloom through hard seasons. We can remain strong in our faith by remembering that God is in control. When we feel weak or stressed or anxious, we can lay our fears at his feet. Admitting that we struggle will not uproot us as long as we turn to Him to renew our strength. Isaiah 41:10 says, "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." We can take heart knowing that the Creator of the universe has our backs. He is with us in every moment of weakness to offer guidance and strength. He will help us. He will hold us up when we feel close to breaking.
So, no matter what season you are in, remember that His grace is sufficient. It has always been enough. I find such comfort in the words of Psalm 143:8. "Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life."
So, when you rise in the morning, whether the sun is shining into your heart or the clouds of despair are hovering over your head, put your trust in Him. It's okay that you're not strong because He is. It's okay if you stumble because He won't. We just need to trust in Him to guide us on our path to growth and renewal. And when we trust in him, our roots are planted firmly in His grace. No matter what the world throws our way, we can remain fruitful and faithful, entrusting our lives in His hands.
Colossians 2:7 says, "Plant your roots in Christ and let him be the foundation for your life. Be strong in your faith, just as you were taught. And be grateful."
God is teaching me that I may have moments when I am feeling choked by the weeds and thorns of this life. I will have moments when I feel like my roots are far too shallow to remain firm in the storm. I will have moments when I feel like I am withering. But if I can find the courage to trust Him, if I can have faith in His grace and His presence, then I will remain rooted in the Spirit in every season of change. And with faith, I will be strengthened. Everyone in Christ will be.