31-days-of-now-devotional

31 Days of Now – Day 30

Growing is never easy. Often, when we are lost in the moments of life, we don’t see the growth that is taking place within our mind, emotions, and spirit. But rest assured that when the Holy Spirit is moving, we are growing. It is the type of growth where God is stretching us so far He causes ring impressions to be left upon our soul, and these spiritual stretch marks of ours are akin to the growth rings hidden deep within the trunk of tree.

The identification process for determining the age and condition of a tree is called Dendrochronology. The word Dendron meaning tree limb, the word Chronos meaning time. It is the growing conditions of a trees life that determine the thickness of the rings found within its centre. The more difficult the winter- greater the cold that surrounds it, greater the ice layered upon it- the more distinctly dark the tree rings will grow.

How very much like our own soul do the trees grow. The greater the stretch marks within the tree, the greater the tree has lived and survived. The greater the stretch marks within our soul and spirit, the greater we have lived… and survived.

And it is when we decide to step into our now do the marks begin to make their full circle within us.

Perhaps this is why Jesus spoke such deep truth when He said:

John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

When we allow Jesus to grow within us, taking up residence in our soul, He becomes our centre. The stretch marks are the evidence of our faith for God is the author and finisher of that faith. He began the good work in us, and He will finish it.

If Jesus becomes our centre, then we become His branches. Our dreams, visions, and grand plans are truly an extension of Him working in us in order to leave a mark on this world.

Let us remember that apart from Him we simply can’t fulfill all that He has for us. The potential of our influence will all but disappear from this world. It is the growing conditions of the Holy Spirit in our life that determines the thickness of Jesus’ mark within us. And these stretch marks of ours take time to develop so they may be seen by the naked eye. The more difficult a situation or circumstance of life, the deeper and darker they become.

Father, as I am stretching, growing, please mark me deeply from the inside out. Though the stretching may be sometimes painful, be the centre of my life and remain in me so that I may accomplish much for your kingdom. In Jesus name, amen.

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