Encouragement for Today - Aug. 18, 2010


August 18, 2010


Move Over Myrtle

Lynn Cowell


"Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord's renown for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed." Isaiah 55:13 (NIV)



I could never figure out why my crape myrtle trees didn't look like "that."


When I drove my kids to school on those hot back-to-school days, I would see gorgeous myrtles all over the neighborhood, heavy laden with puffy flowers in hot pink, deep purple or pure white...but my myrtles never looked that.


One friend said they needed heavy pruning in the winter. So when the temperature dropped and all the leaves fell, I drug out my loppers and chopped away. There! That should do it! I thought. Summer came; summer went. No flowers.


Crape myrtles are not one of those trees that still look great without flowers. In fact, I grew tired of them in my front garden where they gawked at me, flowerless, day after day.


So, I called in a professional gardener. He informed me that crape myrtles need sunlight, so it didn't really matter what I did to those trees; they were not going to bloom in my cool, shaded yard. My choices were: put up with the lack of beautiful blooms, or pull them out. I opted for change.


Life can be a lot like my myrtles. Sometimes, we are just not blooming. We might try the recommendations of friends. You need a hobby. You need a different job. You need a man. Wait until this season is over and then make a change. Often, though, what we really need is Sonlight. The Professional Gardener will tell you getting in the Son is the only thing that is going to bring beauty.


In Isaiah 55:13 the prophet says that instead of briers, the myrtle will grow. Do you have any briers that need to be exchanged for myrtles in your life? Are you effective and are you living what the Bible refers to as an abundant life in Christ? Just as other trees in my yard cast too much shade for my myrtles, is there something in your life that is casting a shadow, blocking your Sonlight? If so, it is time to make the move into the Son.


Getting into the Sonlight, like moving a tree, is no easy task. It often involves change; sometimes a dramatic change. A change in habits, a ridding of addictions, a move in friendships, a laying down of dreams, or a picking up of one that you have feared. Part of soaking up the Son also includes spending consistent time with Jesus in prayer and reading His Word each day.


Don't be afraid of change, friend. The Psalmist said that pain comes in the night, but joy comes in the morning. In the end, the blooms that follow will tell the tale of the power of life in the Son.

Powerful Jesus, that is what I need You to be today. Powerful Jesus. I see the shadow on my life and often I fear that it will overtake me. You have promised that in You, with You, all things are possible. Show me where to move today Jesus, so that I position myself in Your Sonlight. Give me the discipline to study Your words so that my life will be for Your renown and an everlasting sign to others of life in You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.


Related Resources:

The Principle of the Path by Andy Stanley

Have you ever had to move in order to get more light from Jesus? Stop by Lynn's blog today and be encouraged by others who have done the same!

An Untroubled Heart: Finding Faith that is Stronger than my Fears by Micca Campbell
Intimacy with God: Establishing a Vibrant Quiet Time and Prayer Time by Tara Furman


Becoming More than a Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa TerKeurst



Application Steps: 

Go to BibleGateway and do a word search on your greatest struggle - jealousy, envy, conflict, etc. Write out one of the verses regarding this difficulty that speaks to you and read it several times a day until you know it well.


Visit our Everyday Life section to read how other woman are finding victory in the areas that are casting shadows in your life.



What areas in your life do you currently feel are blocking out Jesus' truth?


Do you have a friend that you could ask to pray for you on a regular basis in your struggle for victory in this area? Honesty is a powerful weapon in breaking the power of Satan in our lives.


Power Verses:

Isaiah 55:6-9, "Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (NIV)




© 2010 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.


Proverbs 31 Ministries

616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105


Originally published Wednesday, 18 August 2010.