Originally published Monday, 26 October 2015.
We will all face “winter” seasons in our lives, but we should never want to stay there or make it a continuous cycle.
Difficult seasons in life can actually be a time of growth and maturity in the Lord.
In the natural, trees’ roots actually grow down deeper into the earth in the winter time.
If we don’t stay rooted and grounded in Love (and faith because faith works by love- Galatians 5:6), we lose our sustaining life and are prone to depression. Instead of yielded to depression, we need to allow our roots in Jesus grow deeper and deeper. We use those times of trial to draw closer to the Lord and drink deep of His goodness and faithfulness.
During these dark times, the enemy wants you to dry up and rot- physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. We must remain connected to our life-source, Jesus, the Vine.
Over the course of my life, I have experienced some pretty harsh winter seasons.
Early on in my walk with the Lord, the enemy attacked me in a mighty way through the murder of my father. Thankfully, I had established a solid “root-system” in the Lord and also surrounded myself with some mighty “oaks” of righteous people.
If we are isolated during these times, and are not taking in the proper nutrients from God’s Word, we are in trouble. Being around other trees or fruit bearers is crucial to sustain spiritual health. Their root systems can get nutrients to us and their fruit can feed us when we are struggling to hang onto the Vine.
Thankfully, when my dad died, I was around strong trees that helped me drink up the Word of God.
The same situation occurred when my husband and I went through the devastation of a miscarriage. We made sure to surround ourselves with other people of faith, so we didn’t get carried under the dark waves of despair and depression.
The most recent trial I have faced was different and took time to recover.
I endured a pretty traumatic birthing experience with my son, and when he was around two months old, I discovered that I was suffering from Postpartum depression and anxiety pretty severely.
Because I was at home alone with my son hours upon end and my husband was struggling too with the stress of being the sole bread-winner in the family, working 12 + hours a day on over-time with very little sleep because we now had a newborn, isolation created a breeding-ground for the darkness of depression.
It is has now been one year since I had my son, and I can say that I have recovered from the grips of PPD/PPA. I’m still on the road to recovery regarding my over-all hormonal health, but I know where to draw strength from, all the while, keeping a team of faith people around me.
No matter our circumstances, we must allow our fruit to ripen or mature, and even when it may seem hopeless, you are anchored to Jesus, the Vine, our Hope and you will see abundance once again.
Be grateful for the little fruit you do have, but don’t stay there, let the Vine-dresser care for you until you are strong enough to feed others. You can trust God’s love, joy (the joy of the LORD is your strength- Nehemiah 8:10), peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, self control will carry you. The Spirit bears all these things. The Holy Spirit lives on the inside of us and can release whatever fruit we need to endure those winter seasons.
If you have embraced Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have already been given the fruit of the Spirit in seed form. You need to create a good environment for them to grow. Sometimes we can’t control our environmental conditions on the outside, but we can always control the conditions on the inside.
ABIDING IN THE VINE
Like I said above, in the winter, root systems of trees grow deeper. In a spiritual season of winter this is the purpose of how God uses the trial. The deeper our root system grows, the stronger our foundation and the winds and storms of life cannot knock us down.
The moment we disconnect from the Vine, we are disconnected from our very life source. We drink in that living water of the Word to keep from drying up. He is the very nutrients we need to stay alive and continue to bear good fruit. Our fruit will wither and eventually die and our spirit man will become very weak if we try to go off on our own with Christ. If we don’t have any love, we can’t give it out to others. Peace, joy, etc.
Abiding in the Vine requires humility, trust, faith and patience that fruit will mature and grow the longer we are abiding and the nutrients will continue to flow for us to yield food for the hungry .
The water of the Word is a river, continually flowing, never stagnant. If we don’t read the Word or pray every day, we are trying to drink from a low water supply. You are called to be an oak of righteousness (Isaiah 61:3) planted by the river of God, and a little water brook won’t be able to keep you hydrated for a long period of time! Drink deep!
UNKEPT HEART CLEAN UP
Not only do you have to keep weeds from choking out the seed of God’s word, you just must care for the fruit that you do have. Again, protect your heart from cares of the world. If upkept, weeds will start to grow wild and bugs will start to invade fruit.
Father God is the only One who can prune us, but we must allow Him to. Pruning yields a maximum harvest so that more fruit will grow. It may look like we are losing possessions, relationships, activities, etc but the Lord is only trying to get more fruit out of your life.
Remember, bearing lasting, good fruit is a lifetime process! But keep ABIDING IN THE LIFE SOURCE, JESUS!
Check out more of my blogs on www.emilyrosemassey.com! Also, visit my website for more information on how to stay connected with me, as well as info about my book Yielded in His Hands- now available on Amazon.com!