It’s autumn, and I’ve decided to plant bulbs for the first time in my life. I planted daffodils a few weeks ago, and I’ve been keeping an eye on them day after day. But I can’t help but feel frustrated. Have I done everything correctly? Is it placed in the right spot? Has it been watered too much or too little? What is going on in there?!?
When it looks like it’s going to rain during the night, I bring the pot inside. Then, the next morning, I take it outside again because it’s been inside the house for too long. As I see the scarce autumn sun peaking over my wall, I run outside to place the pot in the light. An hour later, I move it again following the rays, and so it goes for the rest of the day. I cannot see any traces of growth, and I’m wondering if the bulbs are rotten, dried out, or just dormant.
This morning, as I’m staring at the pot of soil again, I realize that I am that bulb! I wonder if God is running around with me like that, hoping for some growth. But for me, I feel like I’m dormant. Dreams and hopes that I had are now locked up inside and buried underground. All my creative ideas are not making any shoots. Everywhere a graveyard full of unfinished projects. If I were God, I would be able to see into the ground and watch the potential inside the bulb. I would be able to see if things are dead or waiting for a specific time. What is going on inside there, God? Am I growing? Are we making progress? Is this just a dormant state, and if it is, is that okay? It’s so frustrating!
What do you do when you find yourself in a dormant space - without direction - not being able to go left or right, much less go forward? At some point, you had clear direction but now you feel lost and all clues have faded.
What if life's circumstances have changed so drastically that you are feeling trapped, and helpless and you don't see a way out. Your finances took a turn for the worst and there is seemingly nothing you can do to change that. You have explored all possible options but there seems to be no hope.
Or, your health took a path downhill and your physical struggles and limitations 24 hours a day are leaving you exhausted and depleted, and depression is creeping in to stay.
Maybe you have been separated from your loved ones for far too long, and future plans to get together and be reunited don't look promising!
You might have started out your journey with great enthusiasm and courage but now you're feeling frustrated and hopeless. Your joy is fading and you realise that your conversations are driven by complaints. You are mumbling and grumbling your way through and what might have seemed exciting in the beginning has now lost all traces of colour.
Whenever I feel discouraged and negative, I tell myself, "you have taken your eyes off God and you are focusing on yourself and your circumstances."
This true realisation brings me to a place of it is time to "RESET". I need to reset my thinking, and it can only happen when I steer my thoughts back to God and away from myself and my circumstances. This does not mean the problems and pain goes away but when we keep staring at the hopelessness and tragedy surrounding us, we give ourselves permission to go down that spiral.
Jesus said that we have a Helper - the Holy Spirit, and He will abide with us. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, "for God did not give you a spirit of fear, but the Holy Spirit who gives you mighty power, love and self-control. Jesus said, "peace, I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives but My perfect peace. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Abide in Me, and I in you.
How do we abide in Him? By spending time with Him. Reading the Word is spending time with Jesus because Jesus IS the Word.
How do I strengthen my faith? By reading the Word. It is written, " faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God."
2 Timothy 2 says, " live your life empowered by God's free-flowing grace, which is your true strength, found in the anointing of Jesus and your union with Him."
"You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Overcome every form of difficulty as a victorious soldier. Every soldier called to active duty does not entangle himself with the affairs of this world so that he may fully please Him who enlisted him as a soldier. So, keep your eyes on Jesus!
In 2 Timothy 3, it is written, "You must continue to advance in strength with the truth wrapped around your heart!" Further, 2 Timothy 4 says, proclaim the word of God and stand upon it no matter what!"
Romans 5:3-5 says, "Even in times of trouble, we have a joyful confidence, knowing that our pressures will develop in us patient endurance. And patient endurance will refine our character, and proven character leads us back to hope."
Now, all discipline seems to be more pain than pleasure at the time, yet later it will produce a transformation of character, bringing a harvest of righteousness and peace
to those who yield to it.
Jesus said that in this world we will have trouble! We have the responsibility to press on and press through with endurance, with God, and He will make a way through for us.
1 Peter 5:10-11 says, "And then, after your brief suffering, the God of all
loving grace, who has called you to share in his eternal glory in Christ, will personally and powerfully restore you and make you stronger than ever. Yes, He will set you firmly in place and build you up! And He has all the power needed to do this!"
The whole process of a bulb in the soil, and waiting for the right time to grow, is an incredible journey and miracle. It actually needs the cold winter months to stimulate growth. That bulb is quite bold and brave, and very trusting, don't you think? All the potential of what it is going to be is locked up inside and buried for a specific time. The leaves, the colour, the flower, the shape, the scent - everything inside that bulb is potentially a beautiful full-grown plant with beautiful blooms and a sweet-smelling fragrance!
Are you a bulb in the ground at the moment? Endure and be patient while you are waiting for God to act. Keep your eyes on Him and in His perfect timing, He will cause you to spring forth and bud!
Hang in there...reset...and never give up the battle to bloom!