Is Comfort One of Your Dead Trees?

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My finger pressed against the end of the hose. The water spray arched toward the sky. It reached and reached until it could reach no more, it glistens falling to the ground. All strength was spent.

But, the plants were watered.

Standing there, watering like my daily habit did, I suddenly realized…

I’m watering a dead tree. What on earth am I doing?!?

Working with some sort of watering autopilot, I watered away. I did it out of habit.

The water’s flow, however, wasn’t causing the tree to grow. It died a few weeks earlier. The energy spent was wasted, the water too.

Sometimes in life we water our own dead trees. It’s habit. We operate and react without thought – on autopilot.

It’s the way we’ve always done it.

It’s familiar.

We walk each day wearing the “same old, same old” garment called comfortable.

It’s easy.

And that’s our Christian life.

But who said the walk with Jesus would ever be easy?

And do the “same old, same old” flowing waters cause righteous things to grow? Maybe it’s like watering dead trees – where those familiar, flowing waters don’t solve a thing.

But God Almighty resurrects. And that’s where I want to be – in the land of His resurrection. I want to feel that power flowing as I live day to day – all the way to heaven.

Maybe you feel this way, too?

We desire to be changed by His glory, to trust His hand.

We long to walk where He calls, go with His all. We want to be in a land of living trees and living water.

I long to walk where He calls, go with His all. Click To Tweet

Recently, His Spirit nudged me to consider comfort. It’s a “dead tree”.

A couple of months ago a conversation with God arose. It went something like this:

God, why do I like comfort so much? Why do I get out of sorts when the plan doesn’t execute smoothly? Why don’t I trust You? 

And then I paused, somewhat afraid of the answer.

Are you ever afraid of God’s answer?

Do you ever wonder why you’re afraid to risk “more” with Him?

I do. I wonder why I’m afraid of His good and perfect will.

Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God.   Rom. 12:2 WEB

The pause left me considering that my Savior would reach forth a hand and call me to deeper waters.

Flesh drowns in waters of God’s deep.

Flesh drowns in waters of God's deep. Click To Tweet

My selfish side, the one that makes plans and arrangements for life sans Jesus, screeches and claws at the thought of losing control. Maybe yours does, too?

But trust assures there’s something better than comfort – Jesus. And with His plan, what else compares?

Trust assures there's something better than comfort - Jesus. (John 14:1) Click To Tweet

“Don’t let your heart be troubled. Believe in God. Believe also in me. John 14:1 WEB Click To Tweet

Shortly after my conversation with God, a book arrived in the mail. No, it’s probably best considered a ministry on pages, not simply a book. It was a call to go with Jesus – wherever.

Was I willing? It was pinpoint in its ask.

Would I put my hand in His and affirm that I’d trust and go, lay down comfort and grow?

I had to consider, but the words, ripe with Scripture and a call to dig deep, swept me to places of certainty.

Yes. Even without comfort, Jesus, I will follow.

Then I swallowed hard. (Flesh still claws.)

Jesus was leading me on the way to a place of living trees. It was time to stop watering the dead tree of comfort.

What if that question was posed to you?

If Jesus walked forth today and held out his calloused, carpenter’s hand, would you place yours in His and follow?

Would you whisper, “Whatever You want, Jesus. I will follow You,”?

I hope so. Jesus is worth it. You are too.

I'm whispering Whatever You want, Jesus. I will follow. You too? Click To Tweet

Action Step ~

This post didn’t generate as an advertisement for Come With Me by Suzie Eller. I can’t help but mention it, however. It’s the “book” mentioned earlier. It’s ministry in word action. And good news! There’s a study starting this week. It’s not too late to join. Go here for more information.

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18 Comments

  1. Hey Kristi … when I head outdoors later today, watering cans in hand, I’ll be remembering your wise words from this morning.

    You’ve painted a startling picture, one worth pondering. Thanks …

  2. Kristi, this was such a great and timely reminder for me today. Yes, sometimes I am afraid of his answer but I want to ask Him these hard questions because I know they are ultimately for my growth and benefit. Thank you for this! Lovely analogy here, my friend.

  3. So many great images here, Kristi, and all so very convicting.
    What do I really want? I tell myself that I want to follow hard after God, but often my choices give away the truth that i want to be “happy” as I define it.

  4. Funny you should mention watering Kristi as sit here in a thunderstorm in July? I can so relate to the comfort/dead tree. I think i feel safe in the “comfort zone” but I am learning to trust God in the uncomfortable. He wants to use us! He has brought me through times that have been very uncomfortable. I am blessed when I take that step of faith and follow His leading even in the little things that seem uncomfortable at times. I am thankful that God used your words to give me that little nudge I needed today to trust Him in every situation He leads. Have a wonderful week . May God richly bless you and yours, friend.

    1. Horace, I believe you’re on to something. It is an opportunity to trust – to learn how to and to build on trust. And yes, what a blessing when we walk in His ways. Thanks for stopping in. May God richly bless you as well.

  5. Kristi we all love our comfort, and how we complain if our A/C quits or just this week I had to count blessings because the lawn mower quit, the weed eater quit, the printer quit and the garage door decided to keep going back up.

    We are blessed He reaches out His hand to call us to deeper waters. It’s there we grow more in love with Him.

    1. Oh Debbie, you had a lot of mechanical “quits” this week! You’re right, though, it is a blessing when He reaches out that hand and we take hold.

  6. Great encouragement Kristi! We all need motivation to walk out into the deep water keeping our eyes on Jesus, dropping our comfortable like a dead weight. Thanks for the reminder!

  7. The visual is so illustrative of your message. Having saved a lot of trees/bushes I planted that tried to die on me – or the boys “accidently” mowed down, I saw your message as learning also when to let go and walk away. It’s hard – it feels like failure – but God always manages to pull something worthy out of it. I am a planner -It is my security blanket. However, God has taught me to plan – but to also let go of the plan and mayhap soar into something better. I am learning to not only expect a plan explosion but to intentionally expect God’s got a surprise in the plan and then I find myself ready for an adventure. Thank you for such a beautiful encouraging message!

  8. My husband bought me a picture by the artist Hugh McLeod. It says “Get comfortable being uncomfortable.” That’s my life. The one Jesus has called me to. At the moment, I’m uncomfortable because we’ve sold our house, put our possessions in storage and we’re waiting to discover where God is calling us to go next. I would like to say it’s easy. It’s not. But, I wouldn’t have it any other way because I’ve lived the other way, and all I want to do now is follow Jesus. Thank you Kristi, for your wise words.

  9. Comfort is most definitely one of my dead trees. In fact, it’s the biggest one in the yard! I missed this post while sick, but I’m super-glad I happened upon it today. Needed it big time!