“Blessed are those who trust in the L. The L will be their trust. They are like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream. It does not fear heat when it comes. Its leaves stay green. In the year of drought, it shows no distress, but still produces fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8
Have you ever had a Bible verse or two, just speak volumes to you? What about a few lyrics in a song? May be you have read a passage in a book by your favorite author or heard words of wisdom from a sage soul that spoke to the inner core of your heart?
Almost three years ago, I attended a retreat and heard the verses in Jeremiah 17:7-8 for the first time, deep within my heart. I’m not sure that I understood then how much these verses would be the verses that would truly describe my journey. Although my life began in my mother’s womb, my true journey of faith began six years ago.
I think my story is amazing. It is amazing because God has laid small and large stepping stones in front of me with an intended purposes. And I truly believe the intended purposes that He has been leading me to is exactly Jeremiah 17:7-8 -to grow in trust in Him and through this to strengthen my roots in my faith so that no matter where life takes me, it will always produce fruit.
This amazing story of mine is a story of trust. But this story began with tremendous hurt and lack of trust. In the darkest hour of that pain, God answered my call. He literally lifted me out of my situation and He began to lay before a new path. This path would still not be easy but would refine me, purify my heart and cleanse me from my past. It would provide me with a new compass and a new focus – “the Lord [would] be [my] trust.”
Through the last six years, my journey has gone through many phases that have lead precisely to this moment. These stepping stones I have been walking on have each served a purpose of leading me to trusting in God. I could write a book on the details of God’s hands and feet along the way, the people He placed in my life, the obstacles placed before me and those removed, the books, the readings from the Bible and the list goes on.
Some of the amazing details are centered around the obstacles that seemed to be removed that were in my way at times. There was no doubt that God’s hands and feet were a part of it. Most of the phenomenal movements of God’s presence was internally within me. This is the purification process that has been leading me on the path of trust. It is the interior spiritual movement that is the description of my journey expressed in Jeremiah 17:7-8. This is where the external stepping stones have led me to the deep roots, nourished by life giving water, bearing fruit in my life.
In one of Lysa Terkeurst latest books, “It’s Not Supposed to be This Way,” she describes an image of life being shattered to dust. What she goes on to say in the book is that sometimes our life has to be shattered to the point of dust so that we can be reshaped. It is through the reshaping that God’s perfect plan for us is placed in motion. As I look back on my life, I see this very process – my life shattered to fine dust and God picking every ounce of that dust up and reshaping me – from the inside out into exactly what He wants of me. The root of this process is trusting Him to do so, being vulnerable to the shattering and reformation. It is here where the fruit is produced, where the dead branches begin to grow new life.
So, when I heard the song on the radio by For King and Country, “God Only Knows,” and tears stung my cheeks, I knew that “God only knows what [I’ve] been through… God only knows the real [me]… God only knows where to find [me]… God only knows how to break through… There’s a kind of love that God only knows.”
Each of us go through some form of struggle in our life where the branches seem to be bare and darkness filters in. In many cases, life as we know if feels like it has shattered into a million pieces and we don’t know how to pick up the pieces. I invite you to trust in God to pick up the pieces and reshape you as He leads you on a path of reformation, purifying and perfecting your path He has laid before you.