A Spiritual Forest
Read Galatians 5:16-26 The works of the Flesh
Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. They shall be like s tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:9 (NRSV)
Keith Ball, from Mississippi, is from a region known for abundant pine forests that stretch for miles. But the forests did not grow overnight. The daily growth of a tree seems indiscernible, but day by day it grows nonetheless. Tiny seeds slowly become saplings; saplings become mature trees. Roots, trunks, branches, and verdant needles grow until they form a forest.
Like a forest, spiritual growth requires regular, thoughtful focus on God's word. Our spiritual journey needs constant effort. The world is full of distractions which can cause great anxiety. Emails demand immediate attention. Social media feeds create feelings of inadequacy, dissatisfaction, and isolation. The news cycle never ends its bombardment of stories of violence, hate, and political and economic woes.
Daily habits of spiritual growth allow us to turn off the noise of life. Just as the slow and steady growth of trees can produce an entire forest, steady growth in our spiritual lives cultivates a healthy connection with God. Pausing daily to reflect, mediate, and pray leaves us less anxious and more able to bear the fruit of God's Spirit.
Prayer: Dear God, help us to quiet the distractions of life so that we can grow closer to you, in Jesus' name. Amen.