Raising kids. Keeping House. Choosing joy, every day.

Ever Feel Stuck? Critical Advice We Need to Grow.

Ever Feel Stuck? Critical Advice We Need to Grow.

I was encouraged this week by this quote from Stepping Heavenward,

God never places us in any position in which we can not grow. We may fancy that He does. We may fear we are so impeded by fretting, petty cares that we are gaining nothing; but when we are not sending any branches upward, we may be sending roots downward. Perhaps in the time of our humiliation, when everything seems a failure, we are making the best kind of progress. – (Elizabeth Prentiss)

 

During hard times, we have a critical decisions to make: Cling to Christ and saturate ourself in His word, or choose an easy path, finding comfort in spilling our guts to friends, complaining, mindless entertainment, over-eating {chocolate!} shopping {retail therapy!}, electronics or other escapes. {other gods. Who you turn to in time of trouble is your “reigning god.”}

As Christian women, we’ve got to choose to send down roots by digging into God’s word!

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I know, I know. Roots aren’t that impressive. They are unseen, and can’t be measured or compared or paraded. We like to focus on the surface stuff–the appearance of having it all together.

I know that roots are often forgotten, but believe me, roots are vital. And you are actually drawn to the godly women with deep roots. You’re inspired by the women who is at peace inside because she’s confident and content with her Savior.

And we want to be that well-watered woman, too, don’t we? Scripture saturated, grace- filled and spirit-empowered? Don’t we want to be the woman with the Word of Christ dwelling richly in us? The encourager? The sharer of God’s wisdom as the ultimate ideal? The woman whose words are like the refreshing shade of a sturdy, lush tree planted by the rivers of water on a hot scorching day? Don’t we want to have something wise and kind to share to those who may be withering?  That’s the kind of woman I want to be.

Like Elizabeth Prentiss encourages us, send roots downward.

  • When life seems like it’s at a stand still and no visible progress is being made, send roots downward.
  • When you feel insignificant, under-appreciated  or unloved, send roots downward.
  • When children are unmaking the house as faster than you can clean it up, send roots downward.
  • When your husband is unsupportive or out of the picture, send roots downward.
  • When people fail and friends disappoint you, send roots downward.
  • When you’re lonely, send roots downward.
  • When your energy is gone and your health is depleted, send roots downward.
  • When money is low and bills are mounting higher, send roots downward.
  • When your calling is hard and you don’t see visible fruit, send roots downward.
  • When emotions are raw and your mind is confused, send roots downward.

See, all of these things were made to make us grow and how I respond determines if I grow better or become bitter.

I’ve learned that sometimes God strips away the things we value in order to give us something we should value more–>HIM.

What is that ONE THING, ONE SITUATION, ONE PERSON in your life you feel needs to change in order for life to be good again?

Those things are the very catalyst that God wants to use to refine me. It may hurt, but He’ll get rid of sinful tendencies, blind spots, any impurities or rough spots that don’t reflect His glory properly, and on the other side I’ll be more like Him. That’s why trials should be counted as “Joy.”

So that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:7

One of my favorite songs that we sing with our teens at church is God’s Refining Fire by Mac Lynch. The lyrics are a prayer for God to strip away whatever He sees fit.

God’s Refining Fire Lyrics

Oh Lord we pray thy will be done, or Master here am I.
We pray you’d do a mighty work, that to the flesh we die.
And when the answer comes to us in form of trial and test,
We fail to see your loving hand, refining fire is best.

God’s refining fire, God’s refining fire.
May it purge me now and make of me what you require.
Oh Lord feed the fire, your refining fire.
Now as gold and silver must be tried, Lord may my heart be purified.
Lord send your great refining fire.

That I may stand when you appear, abide till your return.
Oh place the fire perfectly that all my dross be burned.
Whether furnace of affliction Lord, or unfulfilled desire,
Bring forth a vessel pure and tried, by your refining fire.

I hope they encourage you to count your trial as all joy, and embrace what God is doing right now. It might not feel like joy, but DON’T trust your feelings. Feelings come and go and will tell you that you have the right to do and say all kinds of terribly sinful things. Don’t trust them. Go to God’s Word for your “reality” check, and put down roots there.