Photo by Gabriel Jimenez
But the godly will flourish like the palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon.Psalm 92:12
To flourish is defined as to grow and develop well, to be healthy, to be very successful.
I love that one of the meanings of flourish is to grow, and for anything to grow, it has to be planted and stay planted.
One of the hardest things for me was to stay in the same place for a very long time. I thrive in change; I crave seasons changing. I pursue growth anything but to not stay in the same place. I’m always looking out for the next thing. But I learnt that God is an expert in planting. He especially likes to plant us in the least likable places.
So for the last few years, I have found myself stuck in some places that I didn’t like very much. And these seasons seemed to last for eternity. So I developed a habit of every time God threw me into a place I didn’t like. I kicked and screamed out of it. And God would temporarily give me relief only to return me to the place I was trying to never go back to.
I remember God saying to me, “ How will you grow if you keep uprooting yourself from the places I have specifically planted you in so you can grow?” I had become an expert at uprooting myself out of seasons prematurely.
I believe I’m not the only one who has done this. Maybe you are in the middle of a season that you are trying to uproot yourself out of. Sis, you will not flourish if you aren’t planted. There is no growing strong unless we are deeply rooted in something.
Maybe that unexciting job is God’s divine ground for your growth. Maybe that messy relationship you are trying to get away from is your soil to flourish in. Maybe that thing you are convinced isn’t from God is actually God trying to grow you.
Often we don’t know exactly what God is up to. We can look at a situation and despise it. While that situation is exactly what we need to become who God has purposed for us to be.
Sometimes, we don’t know we are an orange tree until we begin to see oranges come from our tree. Sometimes, we don’t know we are mango trees until it’s fruit season. And for us to see what we are becoming we are going to need to be patient until it’s fruit season.
There was a season where I was convinced that God should give me a certain job. I did everything in my power to get a job in this company. I called people. I sent cover letters. I showed up at the company. I even asked if I could work there for free. But I still didn’t get this job. In hindsight,I realized God was doing something else in my life but I was unaware of it. I was distracted because I thought I needed to be somewhere else rather than where I should have been.
I was uprooting myself from the places that God had planted me so I can learn how to be a leader and be in ministry. I believed I was called somewhere else to do something else. But every time I would leave this place, I would find myself back again. No matter how many times I uprooted myself, God would patiently replant me.
Finally, I stopped uprooting myself and stayed planted. I stop crying out of seasons God had me in and submitted to His ways. When I did, I began to see what God was intending for me to become.
Places where we grow and flourish:
We grow in uncomfortable places. Growth and comfort don’t go together. Sometimes God will lead us to uncomfortable places to break up our need for comfort. We begin to see things good things come out of us when we are most uncomfortable. If we wont fight the discomfort, we’ll flourish and become in the discomfort.
We grow in the mundane. This was the hardest for me. I wasn’t good at doing boring things consistently. I craved excitement and if there was no longer any excitement. I was on to the next exciting thing. But we learn faithfulness in the mundane. We learn how to be reliable in the boring. We grow in the grace of excellence when we do unexciting things consistently and diligently.
We grow when we learn to remain. Abide in me, and I in you Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself unless it remains in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. John 15:4
Abide also means to stay or to remain. Jesus was saying you have to stay in me to grow fruit and flourish. Sometimes remaining in him looks like staying put in places we would rather walk away from. It looks like not leaving when it’s the most convenient thing to do. Staying until God releases us from these places is the only way we grow.
Where we least see change is often where there is most growth.
We grow in difficulty. And not only this but [ with joy] let us exult in our sufferings and rejoice in our hardships, knowing that hardship( distress, pressure, trouble) produces patient endurance and endurance, proven character ( spiritual maturity)…Romans 5:4-5
Some things will only come out of trouble. Some things can only be produced through pressure. So God allows us to experience difficulties because He knows we’ll grow in them. Sometimes, we are trying to pray away the very things that are meant to grow us.
If you are asking for great things, they will come out of you going through trouble or distress.
If you have asked for spiritual maturity it only comes through persevering through some stuff.
We would go through difficulties with different attitudes when we truly grasp what God is up to that’s why Romans says we can rejoice, why? Because we know what God is after.
Sis, stay planted and don’t uproot yourself out of the places God has put you in to flourish you.