So I’m a stump forevermore….!!

Who needs “more”?  More is an interesting word.  It says that what I got ain’t sufficient.  It just ain’t working for me! So…. who needs “more”?

I’ve long loved Ephesians 3:20-21.  It has been my lifeline to hope.  In my situations that haven’t changed, that aren’t changing, I have come to rest in the “more” that God is always up to.  Instead of pacifying myself with “more shoes” (albeit that might sometimes be the first line of defense), how much smarter of me to pacify myself with the notion (with the TRUTH) of the unseen hand of God that is up to something here.  He’s ALWAYS doing more than I can think, ask, or imagine.  Therefore, in my seemingly hopeless situation, I’m going to trust that God’s up to something.  This isn’t a bad place to live, actually.  It does, somewhat, breathe life back into you. 

But sometimes….. at a point….. you have to move into Chapter 2 of your story….. what happens when “it” happens again?  That thing.  That thing that you sorta got a grip on mentally.  You somewhat settled it away in your mind, trusting God’s “more”.  But then there it is again.  What happened God?  You were suppose to be doing “more”!  Why am I going here again?  Nothing’s changing.  And actually…… I think it’s worse now. 

What do you do with that?

I was in just such a place.  Let me take you there.  It was 4:30 in the morning.  People are suppose to be sleeping.  I was not.  So I get up.  I’m seeking God.  I’m trying to regroup from my own personal loss…. (which has no need to be named.  For me to name mine would be a distraction.  It would prevent you from applying these truths and principles to your own!)  So…. as I’m pondering life, God reveals to my hurting heart that I had, for several years now, defined His “more that He was up to” as being in total alignment with the “more that I was wanting”.  My “more” looked like “loss restored”.  Fixed!

God revealed to me that I don’t need MY loss restored. I don’t need my life fixed.  I don’t need somebody else’s life fixed.  I just need Him.  HE is the more. 

He took me that morning to Isaiah 11:1-2 ….

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.  And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

I read that ….. the stump of Jesse.  And I went into Jesse’s mindset.  What was the “more” he would have desired?  I thought back through his life and the things he and his family had experienced….. In 1 Chronicles 1- 2 we get Jesse’s genealogy.  It tracks back to Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob, to Judah, and down on through several generations picking up with Boaz who married Ruth and they fathered Obed.  And then Obed had fathered Jesse.   But in all of this “doing life” …..my, my at the deceit, the lies, the falling away, the unmet dreams, the future seemingly lost.  All is now a mere stump?? And just think about how hopeful life had been….. the patriarchs, the tribes of Israel, God’s chosen nation.  And now here we are ….. the stump of Jesse.  Some of the last documentation we have of Jesse’s life is found in 1 Samuel 17 which is the story of how the Philistines had gathered their armies for battle against Israel. v4 And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span…. or 9’9”.   

But then as we move into v.12-18 we get a little ray of hope….. Jesse had a son!  That son’s name was David……….. 1 Samuel 17:12-18  Now David was the son of an Ephrathite of Bethlehem in Judah, named Jesse, who had eight sons.  In the days of Saul the man was already old and advanced in years.  The three oldest sons of Jesse had followed Saul to the battle.  And the names of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and next to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah.  David was the youngest.  The three eldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.  For forty days the Philistine came forward and took his stand, morning and evening.  And Jesse said to David his son, “Take for your brothers an ephah of this parched grain, and these ten loaves, and carry them quickly to the camp to your brothers.  Also take these ten cheeses to the commander of their thousand.  See if your brothers are well, and bring some token from them.”

To again touch on Jesse’s heritage…. it had been one that contained the deceit of Jacob as he tricked his brother Esau out of his birthright, the lies of Judah and his brothers as they sold Joseph into slavery, various ones in the lineage had fallen away in sin, he himself lived in the uncertainty of the times under Philistine attack. Jesse’s now an old man and his sons are off at war.  How must he feel about that?  He’s sending them a care package and cheeses for their commander!  Are they well?  He wants just a token from them!

I’m sure Jesse had unmet dreams, the future seemingly lost.  All that he could’ve been/should’ve been/might’ve been……..all this is now a mere stump?  Not a towering, flourishing, vital, magnificent tree?  A stump??  Have you ever felt like a stump?  How would Jesse or his family descendants describe the “more” that they were anticipating God doing?  I’m thinking it would’ve looked a whole lot like “restoration”.  Restore my nation. Restore my family. Restore my life.  Restore my position.  Restore my dream.  Restore my hopes.  I’m a stump forevermore.  But as I read that scripture in 1 Samuel 17 from the perspective of THIS side of Calvary, and as I read the prophetic scripture of Isaiah 11:1-2, I know that the “more” God was up to was Jesus!

Let’s read it again…..

Isaiah 11:1-2 ….

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.  And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

God didn’t need Jesse or his descendants to have any particularly noteworthy life.  He only needed enough life to bring forth Jesus. 

And maybe that’s all I need as well.  So I’m a stump.  So you’re a stump.  We only need enough life to bring forth Jesus. 

So as I go back to that faithful friend of mine….. Ephesians 3:20-21, I’m struck anew by the verses preceding it.  Why had I not focused on these before?  Perhaps because I was still longing for the “more” that looked less like a stump and more like the flourishing life I had expected.  But listen to Ephesians 3:14-19.  What is God saying here?

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being,  (why?) so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

This is the “more” God wants for me.  He wants me strengthened in my inner being so that Jesus can dwell in my heart through faith.  He wants my stump to be rooted and grounded in love so that I might have the strength to comprehend Him…. the breadth, the length, the height, the depth of Him.  He wants me to know the love of Christ. He wants me filled with all the fullness that is Him.

So I’m a stump.  God grant me enough life to kill whatever notions I might have that want to make God think like I think.  Kill my definition of “more” …. and bring me to desire His definition of more!  Grant me enough life to just grow Jesus.  He is the more.  He always was.  He ever shall be.

Isaiah 11:10  In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of Him shall the nations inquire, and His resting place shall be glorious.

God grant that our stump stands as a signal for the peoples…. a signal for them to inquire of.  He is our resting place.  And He is glorious!  It’s always been Jesus.  He was always the plan. 

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8 thoughts on “So I’m a stump forevermore….!!

  1. Bookmark this so we can discuss it more at our summit. Jesus is the “more”! And beyond that, God gets to decide what circumstantial “more” looks like in our lives. He’s in charge. And I love it.
    From one stump to another 😘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bookmarked! ✔️ Summit! ✔️✔️ Tell Adam we might need a week to cover all our topics!
      1st course of action: date.
      2nd course of action: place.
      3rd course of action: our Summit Mugs!
      From one stump to another ….😘 Love it!

      Like

  2. the “more” that I’m wanting is something that I know is not possible. The longing for more of what was. Isn’t that a sin? Idolizing what was….and not moving forward? Knowing full well that God is able to do more….immeasurably more than I could ask? And knowing that He works all things together for good. But the longing for the “more” doesn’t feel all that good. And why is it I can administer the good Word to those around me with confidence that God can and God will if He so chooses…but I can’t always find comfort when I remind my heart? Do I really believe that He can? The answer is yes. No exclamation. Why no exclamation? Cause I’m still wanting the “more”
    It’s late and I’m way off the subject. Thanks for a post that deserves to be read again and again.
    Robin

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This certainly resonates! I think we all need to get together and watch “Fiddler on the Roof”!! I hated seeing those dear people have to give up their life as they knew it…. the lives they had loved! Change….. it can be a bitter pill~ And actually we see this same propensity show up in Scripture… Ezra 3:11-13 is so interesting to me…… “And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers’ houses, old men who had seen the first house, wept with a loud voice when they saw the foundation of this house being laid, though many shouted aloud for joy, so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful shout from the sound of the people’s weeping, for the people shouted with a great shout, and the sound was heard far away.” Isn’t that so “life”….. the same event/circumstance– some remember and weep and others shout for joy! Such is life! It most assuredly does necessitate a great deal of intentionality to let go of the past and trust God as we move into the future….. trusting Him with it! (i.e. as in the intentionality of getting up at 4:30 and getting my nose in the Word where God can REMIND ME AGAIN!) Love you, dear Robin!

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  3. You are always applying spiritual truth from plain ole every day occurrence. We all live there and can glean from your insight. Thanks for listening to God in the wee hours of the morning when all is quiet HIS voice can be heard. 😇

    Liked by 1 person

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