Today’s devotion is from Sheena.

Read Jeremiah 17:5-8
Blessed is he who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green  (Jeremiah 17:7-8)

Do you know the Gunn family have grown sunflowers for every family in the directory?  I wonder whose will be the tallest!

As they have found out sunflowers are tricky things to grow.  They stretch higher and higher and their heavy seed laden head makes them top heavy.  The roots don’t grow very deep either and they need staked and tied to stop them toppling them over in the wind.

We are all sunflowers – we push ourselves to grow  in our careers, in our hobbies, relationships and families.  We strive to be the best we can be, maybe to become taller than our colleagues or our neighbours.  We try to be the biggest sunflower.

The virtues of Jesus have already been planted within us and in plentiful supply.  2Peter 1:8

We are seeds full of potential!   Our Father has made us with inbuilt virtue and promise.  We already have gifts; we need to listen to what God wants us to grow up to be to be the tallest and most beautiful sunflower we can be.  

The best way to listen to what God wants us to do is to read the Bible and pray.  We need to put down roots to nourish us and keep us from falling over.  We need to grow in fertile soil and to be fed by the Bible and to drink up his word daily to thrive.  So put your roots down deep.  

We probably all know the parable of the four soils because it’s in Matthew, Mark and Luke.  The seeds ‘ sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy.  But since they have no root, they last only a short time’ Mark 4:16-17.  But ‘Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it and produce a crop – thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown’ Mark 4:20.  

But just like a sunflower we do need staking sometimes.  Troubled winds blow and shake us – illness, bereavement, financial difficulty, relationship problems, temptation.  There always seems to be a puff of some kind of wind ready to move us.  If we are nourished and have strong roots we’ll do better.  But we are not supposed to be lonely sunflowers.  We are supposed to be in a field supported by brothers and sisters growing beside us.  So if the wind shakes us, they can shelter us and hold us up until the gale passes.

And if we grow the way He plans for us, we will be a sunflower bigger than we would have if we had tried to do it alone.  Our bright faces smiling down for all to see.  Donna Hall shared her vision of many different types of beautiful flowers in a field – we are all unique, perfectly made and will grow strong when we reach our full potential by putting our faith in God.

Dear Father

Thank you that you made me full of potential and that all I need to thrive is the Bible and listening to you in prayer.  Please give me the thirst to do this and teach me.  Help me to listen in the stillness to what you have to say to me and to follow where you lead me.

Thank you that I can grow next to my church family, that we are all beautifully unique and help us to recognise and shelter a brother or sister who is in trouble so they don’t topple over and stay firm in faith.

I pray you will.. like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, 
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever (s)he does, (s)he prospers. Psalm 1:3
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