Jesus Makes It Grow

Learning how to rely on Jesus to make it Grow.

Can I be honest with you? Sometimes I panic, and sometimes I panic more than just a little. It’s time, you see I worry about the passage of time. I have in many ways done a lot with my life, but in many others, I’m not where I want to be, at least “professionally”. I think a lot of people go through this in the middle ages but I guess its my turn.

These last few years have been an analysis or even a mid-life review of sorts. Where have I been… and where am I going to?

I don’t have much to show materially for the years I’ve been on the planet. As some of you know, I spent several years in a painful addiction to heroin. I am gratefully, exuberantly, freed by Jesus, and now have over 14 years clean, which I treasure!

I have spent those 14 years helping other women get free from their own addictions and have seen so many miracles. I have given out so many tissues along that journey that I really should have bought stock in Kleenex… (but I didn’t- hindsight is 2020) and I don’t regret one minute of it. Not the time it took, the long hours, the praying, pacing, fighting with and for people that you may have wanted change for- even more than they did.

But now, as I slide into another season, in which, I believe Jesus is calling me to write, I have a hard time stilling my heart from jumping back and forth from one project to another. I feel fragmented, dividing up my attention like someone flipping through the cable channels watching every program and none.

So this morning I’m sitting in the rare quiet, concerned about the fact that I haven’t posted anything on Instagram for the longest. It’s silly, and maybe that’s not your struggle but today it’s mine. I know it won’t grow if I don’t post, and adding one more social media channel to my list seems like just another burden. As much as I’m feeling these feelings my heart knows it shouldn’t be this way.

I’m not sure if you, dear reader, have this struggle too? 

Maybe it’s the spirit of the age. I’m surrounded by influencers, voices, consumed by follower counts, metrics, measures. Every other Instagram post is on how to grow. Take this class, follow these 5 easy steps, grow because that’s how you prove your worth, that your voice matters. And I realize, that’s not why I do this at all. I already know that I matter to Jesus, and I only share out of what I have in abundance.

So I’m stilling my heart to hear from the one voice that really matters. I have to catch myself so often from going off the edge of the emotional cliff. I grateful to have been able to help others do this along the way as well because we can “comfort with the comfort we’ve been given.”

  1. Recognize you are chasing the crowd and not Jesus.
  2. Stop (halt, take a break, pause, breathe)- shut out the other voices, and listen for Him.
  3. If you don’t hear Him at first walk further from the things the crowd is doing.
    • Fast from TV or social media
    • Play worship music and find a quiet place
    • Meditate on the things He has brought you through
    • Meditate on His creation- the beauty of trees, the wonder of each sunset and sunrise being completely different, how do clouds stay up in the sky if they are full of rain?, the cosmos
    • Read the Psalms slowly- pausing between each verse to consider its meaning and connection to other places in the Bible
  4. When you hear Him write down what He says and thank Him

I’m doing some of those things right now because I know that even though I’m in the world, I’m not of it. I move to a different rhythm and if I allow these things to set the pace I will always feel disordered.

In the quiet Jesus says plainly, “I make things grow.” Nothing more, nothing less. Not a promise that he definitely will make it grow. Not 5 steps to success, not a list of how to’s, just a statement of truth that sets me free.

In an instant, I remember a dozen verses, which I forget on the daily, but which I will list for myself as well as you, because I forget all the time that Jesus is my source, even while serving Him. I’m not proud of that but I am grateful that He takes the time over and over to lead me back, stray sheep that I am. 

The list with references is below but I love them all put together as one conversation from His heart to yours and mine:

“Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. 

I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Jesus is {I am} the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Jesus {me} and Jesus {I} in him, is he that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 

So walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God, for the righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. 

They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green. So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.”

(bold emphasis is mine as well as the conversational connection- see verses below)

A stern, but loving rebuke from my Heavenly Father, a reminder to stay connected, look to Him to complete what He wants to in His perfect timing, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m so grateful that He takes the time to lovingly, (not in so many words), say, “Get yourself together.” but then also show me how.

If you are caught up in the rush of maximizing all of your 2021 goals in the first month (like I was) take a breath and have a listen with your heart. Jesus has a word for you today.

Galatians 3:3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

Colossians 1:10 So walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.

Psalm 92:12-14 The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green

2 Corinthians 4:16-17 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,

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