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.
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