Afraid to Turn the Next Corner
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8 (ESV)
You know how some people love the thrill of being surprised? They love surprise parties. They would love to show up at work today and be told they are being whisked from their desk for a surprise vacation in just a few hours.
They would love to have one of those makeover shows show up at their house with a film crew and be told they’re getting a whole new wardrobe.
Surprises feel thrilling to them. Like how some people feel when a roller coaster ride they thought was over suddenly takes off again and starts doing upside-down loops. They throw their hands in the air and embrace the thrill of the unknown.
They call that fun.
This dislike of surprises can usually be managed with all the things I mentioned.
My friends know not to throw me a surprise party. No one is looking to give me a surprise vacation or new wardrobe. And before getting on a roller coaster, I thoroughly check it out and know its patterned route.
But life is different.
Life twists and turns and throws loops into those places we think will be flat and smooth. Because that’s what life does. Sometimes it just catches us off guard.
And at the end of the day, I guess that’s why I don’t like to be surprised. I can’t stand to get caught off guard. It makes me feel exposed and afraid.
But slowly, I’m learning it’s not all bad to be surprised.
That vulnerable place reminds us we have needs beyond what we can manage. Feeling a little exposed and afraid reminds us we need God. Desperately. Completely.
And into that gap between what we can manage on our own and what we can’t, that’s right where faith has the opportunity to grow deep roots. Roots that dig down in to the hope and joy and peace only God can offer.
My faith doesn’t just need to grow big, it needs to grow deep. Yes, I need deep faith roots, like the believer in Jeremiah 17:7-8, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” (ESV)
Deep roots keep us secure in God’s love when fear comes.
Deep roots anchor us with the truth that God is in control when surprises blow like strong, unruly winds.
Deep roots hold us steady in the peace of God during the storm that didn’t show up on the radar.
Deep roots find nourishment in God’s grace when the surface gets awfully dry.
Deep roots allow for growth of faith in God not previously possible.
I’m learning to not be so afraid of what might be around the next corner. Even if it does catch me off guard. I close my eyes and whisper to the Lord … deeper still.
Dear Lord, deep faith roots is what I desperately need. Help me to take steps each day in my journey of trusting You even if that means being in a vulnerable place sometimes. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.