Grow with increasing measure
A few weeks ago we had a tree cut down in our yard. Trust me when I tell you this is not a small tree, as you can see in this picture. The base of the tree is close to 7 feet wide, and even the branches from the very top are around two feet in diameter. I can promise you we weren’t sitting around in December wondering how we could spend a couple thousand dollars on something that wouldn’t in any way improve our quality of life or value of the home, but of course where the tree was located was a spot where it would land directly on my two year olds room if it fell.
So the tree was cut down and since then my husband has spent hours and hours outside, with help from family, trying to condense the mess and get rid of an endless supply of firewood. We even tried to turn it into a fun family activity, but that didn’t go over very well when my daughter realized there was dirt involved.
From the outside this tree was beautiful. It provided shade and we know it has probably been there for hundreds of years. But the reality was this massive tree was dying on the inside. It had sustained damage, from bugs and from lightning, and it was struggling to keep standing.
Maybe that’s how you feel right now. To your friends and your family, you’re holding it all together, you look strong, act strong, even provide comfort and a shoulder for others to lean on. But what do your insides look like? Are you struggling to keep standing or struggling to keep showing up at church each week to spend time with God?
January is such a natural time for resolutions, and this year I decided not to set any because they really just being disappointment! Maybe this year instead of resolutions you decide to find a way t stand tall and strong and to really feel that way on the interior. Growing close to God and learning to rely on him isn’t something that just happens - it takes intentionality.
I’m going to work on memorizing this passage found in 2 Peter 1:5-8....I want these words in my heart reminding me to keep going....
“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Don’t become ineffective. Use this time of year as an opportunity to take your next step toward Him and toward restoration, so that when you stand strong and you look strong, you are strong on the inside as well. THAT is what God wants for you. He wants you to refocus and decide how you will become more like Jesus with increasing measure.