Yesterday, I felt stuck.
As if I keep going round and round in the same spot… not moving forward. Not going backwards.
Just round and round and round. Coming back and back again to the Lord with the same issue.
To a goal-oriented person who methodically moves from point A to point B in all areas of life, this pattern is maddening.
Forward is the best direction at all times, surely!
But in our walks with Christ, sometimes circles are a direction.
Judah shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward. Isaiah 37:31
Think about a tree. It grows in three directions. Its roots grow down into the ground. Its trunk grows upward towards the sky and its branches grow outward, bearing fruit for others.
You see where I am going with this, don’t you?
What if, just maybe, that circular round and roundness of your situation is the Lord driving your roots down deeper?
Here’s an example: Maybe overspending is a struggle and you promise yourself “This month, I am going to be more frugal!” And then two hours and $200 later at Target leaves you defeated and back to the Lord with the same ol’ story. To the naked eye this appears to be a broken record, but to the Lord it is another opportunity to teach you. To show you grace. To work on your heart. Etc.
With each occurrence, the Lord can drive Truth and teaching down deeper into your soul. Another chance to make a return, not only to Target with your receipt, but a return to repentance, confession and redirection.
This downward progress is sometimes only known to us. The root system of a tree is not visible, its growth is undetected, no one else can see this deepening process at work, but we know it is there. Confirming and reconfirming our commitment to change.
Then there is the growth upward and outward and this growth has visible results. Not only is the tree’s growth visible to others around you but, given time, those outward branches can bear fruit for others to enjoy.
But the root system MUST be strong and in place first before anyone can receive from the tree. And this sometimes takes YEARS . Lots of circles and rings exist inside a tree trunk to showcase its growth, remember?
While this post is not an invitation to walk in disobedience, it is however meant to encourage you. Even though you feel as if you are beating your head against a wall, coming back to the same place with God, I THINK SOMETIMES HE IS DRIVING DOWN YOUR ROOT SYSTEM.
And this is amazing news.
With this repetitive driving downward, you will be so solid in your resolve that others can finally receive from the lessons you are learning now.
And voila! A ministry flourishes and bears fruit.
YOU ARE MOVING. It just may not be forward today. The Lord is driving this lesson down DEEP because later, with time and patience, you will stretch our your branches to help others, too.
- What area of life do you feel you are walking in circles?
- How could you partner with the Lord to allow this as a foundation building opportunity for your spiritual growth?
- Have you experienced guilt and shame with this “habitual” pattern? If so, take time and ask God to give you a new perspective today. Repent where needed, but let go of shame and use it as a teaching tool.