“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.” -Isaiah 11:1-3

Up from the stump of Jesse a branch will grow; a branch that will bear fruit from his roots. This a beautiful promise that what was once cut down, broken, and dead was actually just a root system preparing to grow bigger, bolder, and better fruit. What we thought was a cutting down was actually a pruning. You prune trees to train their growth, prevent the spread of disease, increase the quality and number of its fruit, and to keep the balance of roots and top growth. Out of the roots of Jesse you will grow: Christ is coming and he will break into your darkness, and he will bear fruit in your life. What if you’re not cut down, and you’re just pruned instead? You’re not the stump you think you are, and you have to find out the kind of tree that God is going to grow you into. Good things are coming.

PRAYER: I pray, Father, that you’d help me grow and trust you in this time. Help me to trust you as you take my stump and turn it into a redwood. Thank you for always believing in me and for making something beautiful from my soul.

REFLECTION: Do you feel like a stump? Cut down and broken. Think about times that you have felt like this and what God did with the experience, relationship, or ending. Did you grow?

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