Lessons From My Morning Walk

By April 21, 2015Inspiration

I was out on my daily walk this morning when a scene captured my imagination, which later translated into several teachings from the Scriptures. I thought I would share them with you and maybe they will stir a nod in your spiritual thoughts, also.

 I live in a rural part of Central Washington State. I try to fast-walk about two miles each day; that’s a pace of about 3.5 mph. I walk on a sparsely traveled country road that’s straddled by pastures, most of which either have cattle or are fields of growing hay.  But one of the pastures is kind of overgrown, and as I trekked by I noticed the contrast of a blossoming apple tree in the midst of brush and brambles.

My first thought was “bloom where you’re planted.” So often you’re not in the perfect place or surrounded by like-apple tree 2015-04-21 450x338minded people. You might find yourself in situations where you’re the only believer or the only one who holds to a biblical standard. That’s when you can bloom where you’ve been planted! You’re in a situation that may be more dark than light. But with Christ in you, His light can shine and stand out as a positive message to those around you.

 That led me to another Biblical truth. Jesus taught us in John 17 that we are in this world, but not of it. When you gave your heart to Christ, you immediately became a citizen of a different kingdom – the kingdom of God. And while you have new and powerful rights and privileges because of who you are in Christ and the inheritance He made possible, you are still in this world.

 God calls His people to be separate from the world. Not necessarily physically separated. But He calls us to a different way of living: “But I have said to you, “I am the Lord your God, who has separated you from the peoples. And you shall be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.” Leviticus 20:24, 26

 He calls us to be amazingly different by giving ourselves to Him so He can fill us with Himself. We are called to be like Him. To be holy, because He is holy. Special. Light in the darkness. His very own.

 So when I saw the white blossoms on the tree in the middle of dark-colored bushes I was reminded that I am to be different. I am to so completely submit to God that it’s no longer me who shows up on the scene. But rather Christ in me. Paul put it this way, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

 And then the tree scene provoked one other thought. This one was about being able to be the best I can be so I can bear the most fruit. So I studied the unpruned apple tree surrounded by so many bushes and brambles and noted that it was suffocating and not able to receive the air and light it needed to be its best.

 Jesus teaches us in John 15:2 about our need to be pruned and shaped, “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” Pruning is a good thing! And often, our pruning comes through revelation coupled with obedience. We study God’s Word. We learn His ways. And then we change so we are aligned with Him.

 Pruning can also be delivered when we find ourselves in challenging circumstances and we seek wisdom and understanding from God. We follow His lead and His direction. And sometimes we find we’ve made mistakes. And so we adjust and conform and allow God’s truth to change our minds so we can be transformed into the rich, fruit-bearing follower of Jesus we are called to be.

 When we look to the Lord and allow only God’s will to be our will, then we participate in the productive life He wants for us, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5-4

 One thing I know for sure about the apple tree I saw on my walk is that it’s not in the best shape right now. But I also know that the potential for it to be a valuable, fruit-bearing tree is within its life. The same for you. The same for me. We might need to make some changes. We might need to clear some things out of our lives. We might even need some pruning. But for sure, because of Christ in us, we have everything we need to blossom and bear the sweet and tasty fruit that we are intended to yield.

60 Comments

  • Lahassanda says:

    Thank you for your words of wisdom and encouragement. May God continue to bless and keep you!

  • Matshidiso says:

    Thank you Suzan for sharing such a beautiful experience with us. I have learned a lesson from your walk too. God speaks to us through many different situations, experiences etc. but many times we lack to grasp the meaning of the occurence. Im glad that the God in you has become such a blessing to us because I definitely relate so much to this experience that a whole lot of a burden suddenly just disappeared and I seem to understand things much more clearer now! Thank you Suzan and stay blessed.

  • Christine New says:

    Thankyou for all u share. I sense so strongly that I am being called to the word in a new and deeper way so everything you share is extremely helpful. I am about to walk the dog so I will pray first for revelation as to what He might want to say. Thanks and Blessings in abundance.

  • Karon says:

    Thank you, much needed word.. God bless you

  • Carolyn Staton says:

    Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement.

  • Surina Nash says:

    “bloom where you’re planted.”
    I really needed that. Thank you Susan

  • Beverly says:

    Thank you Susan that was beautiful! Yes, GOD is everywhere all we have to do is look and listen as he shares his GLORY with us.

  • Elizabeth Cheatham says:

    I love your spiritual message, it really made me look at things a little different…I like the part that read we are in this world, but not of it, when we accept Jesus Christ as I lord and savoir we are now of the kingdom of god. That was a powerful message for me . Thank you Susanne for the encouraging message you share with us today. I would love to read more… Thank You !!

  • Dominic says:

    WOW! Thank you Susan for being such a blessing. You are blessed. I am truly encouraged this morning. This is a powerful message and it has spoken to me. I pray that my heart will always be sensitive to His voice all the time.

    Blessings

  • Jackie Eko says:

    This message has really reassured me this morning of some of the things I’ve been thinking about lately. I believe I need a renewal and have been trying to do so. Thank you Susan for the inspiration.
    God bless you

  • Beverly Muhonja Otanga says:

    Alone with God leads to much in Him. Thank you for sharing. May God bless you graciously.

  • Veronica says:

    Thank you so much for the encouraging experience and lesson you shared. I am encouraged to continue with my daily journal, which I stopped to do for almost 4 years now. Yes indeed, I need to bloom where I am planted. My situation shouldn’t matter for it is Holy Spirit in me who will produce the fruit, and not me nor my situation. Thank you, thank you. God bless and more power to you Susan.

  • Melika says:

    Thank you so much for bringing light into my life. So encouraging are your words and it just lifted my spirit this morning.
    I usually marvel at the beauty of Gods creation and this one has put more in it when we put Christ in it. I have learnt something new today…to always reflect on my Christ-like life when I see things around me and situations I encounter. .. things happen for a reason.! God bless you mightily Susan.

  • cissy says:

    i turned away from God in 2011. ….its taken a horrible situation to open my heart back and i ask for forgiveness and repent of my sin……what i am going through is like the worst ever…yet at the same time i can rejoice in my heart and soul i am heaven bound…i know i will pay the price for my sin but i pray whatever happens to me God place me where i can grow and help reach others who have fallen away or who has never received…..i pray God turns me into his amazing Bloom for him.that othets may see and want his unconditional wonderful sweet love

  • Dolly says:

    I truly thank God for these words of inspiration and insight that definitely causes me to look at me and how much more I want to take a stand for wherever God has called me to stand to be that pruned light in darkness among those who need to know our true and loving Savior making a difference. Thank you woman of God for these profound words of life. Be blessed and highly favored

  • Barbara says:

    Thank you for the imagery and encouraging application of God’s Word. I was that tree planted at first in a nice, neat field with a few weeds now and again. Things seemed to go well for a while, then I was pruned, uprooted and replanted. I don’t understand why because things seemed to be going well and in a positive direction before the bottom fell out. Just as I thought things were bad enough, it got worse and worse again. Through it all I chose to stay connected to the Vine and God has blessed me. With a little more time, I am expecting that I will be much stronger, with more courage and a deeper faith. I may even be an encouragement to another sojourner.

  • Renee Welch says:

    Thsnks agsin for the lesson!

  • Yvette says:

    OMG! This was so needed today for there are many times in our lives that we just go on our merry way with out any concern for others or the things that are around us that we forget that God is clearly speaking to us even in our daily journeys. Thank you so much for sharing and being that light to so many whom have forgotten to focus on God’s precious moments.

    Be Blessed,
    Vett 🙂

  • Resi says:

    Thank you so much SuSan for sharing such a powerful and uplifting word. This is a word for the season to me.

  • ann says:

    Thanks once again for the inspiration & thanks to God for using you as an encourager for many people. For your obedience to the call we give God the glory. The message has spoken volumes to me. It has given me the courage to go on even when I feel alone sometimes. Pray with me too that I continue to seek God more.

  • Maria says:

    Thanks so much for this, Susan….I truly know that God has put me and left me in places to be HIS Light …if only for a Season.
    I pray for Him to continue to use me and to let His Light and His Love shine thru me every day.

    Blessings

  • Beverly says:

    Thank you so much Susan for including me in this meassage it was just what I needed my heart rejoices over this message. You confirmed my prayers. Yes its so important to blossom where we are and turn it all over too Jesus and let Him be the light.

  • Renee Welch says:

    Thank you Susan, I really enjoyed your message. Beautiful and indeed it made my spirit nod! New blossoms in my life are preparing to bloom, but will I be ready?

  • Pam says:

    This blog post really resonated with me this morning. I am going through an emotionally challenging time right now. My dear, sweet, 87 year old dad is definitely in the winter of his life. He sadly has serious memory issues because of a series of mini strokes he had a few years ago. He lives in an assisted living facility, but is currently in the hospital. I am deeply saddend by all of this as aside from my husband he is all the family I have. I have a very large number of friends on Facebook and I am often amazed at how many of them “follow” me and read my posts about various things. Reading your blog is a reminder for me that how I handle this last portion of Dad’s life and how I handle it when God calls him home is extremely important. Through all of this emotionally heartbreaking time, I need to walk my talk and be a testimony of God’s love for us no matter the situation. I have a lot of followers on FB that are not believers so I must really “bloom where I am planted” and be a light for the One I love and serve and I need how I react to all of these life changing things to be an example of living in the world but not being a part of it and keep the focus on the Lord and all the ways that He blesses us in our times of trouble and struggles and not just on our happy days. Thanks for all the reminders in your blog post today. Oh, and on a lighter note, although the background is different, I have an otherwise nearly identical “kind of shadow selfie” of myself that I took a few years ago. Too funny. Thanks again for your words this morning. May God continue to bless you as you continue to bless others… Pam 🙂

  • Dawn says:

    What a blessing and joy to behold how Great our God is and we can flourish no matter what the circumstances or surrounding may be.
    Thank you for sharing and spreading the word and your vision.

  • Margaret says:

    Thank you for your obedience in sharing this word. What a blessing and a beautiful reminder that I needed TODAY!

  • Justine says:

    Bloom where you are planted – I love that!

  • Diane says:

    Excellent! This spoke to me today. To do God’s will is to let him guide us! We do need to be a light to and for others! I will practice that in my walk with God! Plus your reminder that we are not of this world but merely in it was pertinent.
    We strive to live in this world “on earth as it is in heaven.”

  • Sherry says:

    Thank you for sharing your insights. I am a walker to and love walking first thing in the morning when the birds are singing and the sun is coming up. I had a high school junior come up to me for prayer on Sunday morning seeking to be a better witness in her school. I plan on sharing this with her to encourage her. Thank you again for your thoughts.

  • Gail Brundage says:

    Thank you for sharing this..first time in a while I have stopped to read a e-mail like this one and it was very timely for me…and a vivid one that will hopefully stay long with me.God bless you for the good work you are doing. Daniel’s fast also jumped started me into healthier eating, by the way.

  • Simphiwe Cebekhulu says:

    Hi Susan,
    Thank you so much for sharing that wonderful story. As you may be aware of the Xenophobic violence going on in my country (SA) currently, I find myself torn in-between.Because it’s my country fellow men that are perpetuating this and I fully understand the reason behind it, yet it breaks my heart to see the brutality that is suffered by foreign nationals in the hands of locals.

    When I saw the 1st picture of the field in your article, my heart melt, because I’m currently living in the city, yet my heart yearns for something exactly similar to what that field looks like, back at home where I was born.Most of us leave our homelands not because we like city life, but simply because there isn’t enough resources in rural areas to sustain our lives. I pray God that one day he blesses me with a sponsor to help me realize my dream. Which is to empower my people in rural areas, using God given land to provide for them, so they won’t have to leave their beautiful country scenery and over-flock to cities in search of a better life.

    Like that blossoming apple tree in the midst of brush and brambles, I hope one day Gob blesses me, so I can be a ray of light to all those poverty stricken families back home in rural areas.

    God Bless You Susan….

    Sharing your simple encounter with an apple tree today, has brought hope in my life again!

  • Viola says:

    This really hit home. Often times I never think of myself as being a light to anyone else. Yes, I have much going on with caring caring for my husband who has congestive heart failure and other health issues, but I try my best and make a conscious effort to remain positive and rely on Jesus for strength. A good friend of mine lost her husband a couple years ago. She has been devastated ever since. At times she asks me “Vi what more is God going to give me”. I try not to speak hurriedly but just listen. When I do I try to make sure I am sensitive to her needs but as well as what is right in God’s eyes. I pray for often. My whole point is, I never thought of that as being a light. After reading you blog I will pay closer attention. Thank you Susan. Viola Henson

  • Eileen Connolly says:

    Very beautiful. Thank you. The life that lives in me now is so different. I lost my husband of 47 years to leukemia about 4 months ago. I feel lost without him.

    • Teresa Marie says:

      I am so sorry for the loss of husband, Mrs.Connolly.I’ve heard all my life time heals everything. Well that is not so. God, heals the broken hearted. And I pray God, will send comfort & rest to a lonely soul. Maybe then you can find peace true peace that only comes from a personal relationship with our Lord & Savior. May God’s love fill that void in your life. His love endures forever!!!!!. God bless you & keep you.

  • Paulette Lavender says:

    Susan,
    Thank you for this very powerful message! I really needed this because I am making a huge change in my life right now. I have chosen to remove a person from my life in order to align myself with the will of God. This person has been a part of my life for more than two decades and it’s time to sever the ties.
    I am asking for prayer as I know this is the best decision for me.
    You are so inspiring, Susan! Thank you again for all you do and may God continue to bless you!

    Paulette Lavender

  • Monica Blair says:

    This was beautiful, I needed every word of this story. God has been working with me this week, even this morning I have seen his face, I have been truly Blessed, Right now I’m going through some financial difficulty but God is Good, he has brought me this far not to ever leave me. Thank you so much for your story.

  • Mamie Olive says:

    Thank you, Susan for sharing this special message that was not only meant for you… but, for so many of us.
    Often, we’d rather be blooming in a different spot than where we presently are. And, maybe we would shine for a short while on our own, but, it would be of our own strength which makes for pretty green leaves but offers no fruit for others.
    It’s only when we draw nourishment from the deep well of our heavenly Father, through daily reading and studying His word and prayerful communication with Him, that we become fruit bearers to those around us. Often, fruit bearers are unaware of their fruitful seeds that are left behind. Fruit bearers are humble folk, often assigned humble jobs and tasks. Watch for them… they certainly are day brighteners!

  • Susan Ringler says:

    Good morning Susan, for a while now I feel God has been telling me that I need to stand out., shine like the daughter he expects of me. He is putting me to the test because my brother in law has come to me mentioning that his son (10 yrs old) is asking questions. I gave him a study Bible and another book to help answer questions. I’m not the best Christian in the world, I’ve had a fear of people most of my life and a fear of messing up and not delivering Gods message properly. God warns about that. I have been praying to overcome this obstacle, please pray for me. I want to help others so badly. Thank you for sharing your story, it’s so very helpful.

    Susan

    • Teresa says:

      I know how you feel. I’ve recently became a Sunday school teacher & I find myself wondering if I’m the right candidate. I’ve never had such a huge responsibility. To be honest I’m scared. Am I good enough. I know I really have to do some studying before hand. Thanks for your heart felt words. God bless U.

  • Bisi says:

    As I read this tears welled up in my eyes and I asked myself ” why?” And it came to me I am just awestruck with gratitude to The Lord for these words of edification and pruning.
    I pray that The Lord continues to renew your spirit I the name of Jesus. Amen.

  • cruz says:

    Powerful thankful for sharing I’m going through the pruning process right now, and praise God for this process because it has made me a better person and is preparing me for his purpose. I thank God for his mercies that are new every morning. Be blessed in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

  • Lakiesha says:

    Thank you for sharing.

  • Michelle James says:

    Ms, Susan thank you so much for that. I really needed that this morning. You are truly a blessing.

  • Debbie Candler says:

    what a beautiful and encouraging message we gotta let our light shine love hearing from you have a wonderful day

  • Carla Coetzee says:

    I love God’s Word.Thank you for your beautiful blogpost today and your post From Light To Darkness , we are doing a 50 day journey through “The Sermon On The Mount” with our church , and reading your blogs today has confirmed several things that I have felt Jesus is highlighting to me and my husband.I love the way God’s Word is relevant to every generation.

  • Vanessa Clark says:

    Thank you for your sharing your life lesson.
    It caused both my husband and I to nod!
    Very fitting message at this time in our life.
    God bless you.

  • ross says:

    Amen and Amen

  • Tebogo says:

    Thank you Susan for such uplifting blog….the Lord is speaking to me through you really this morning
    I felt like I was suffocating @ my workplace as the darkness seemed to be more than the light,i even said the other day “I wonder if this company belongs to the devil or what”
    Now I know that I need to ‘bloom where I’m planted”
    regards
    Tebogo

    • Hi Tebogo,
      Thank you for your words, we must be working at the same place because I feel the same way, I decided one day to stop “working” for them and to start working, every day, for the Lord, the days aren’t any easier, but I feel more complacent and calmer than I have in a long time. Your words spoke to me and for that I thank you.
      Yours in Christ, Stephanie.

      • Jean says:

        Thank you Susan. That was a message for me today. It confimed that God is real and is always there when we need Him most.

      • Tebogo says:

        Hi Stephaneie
        Let us remain in the Lord my sister in Christ,he is busy pruning and shaping us so that we will be able to bear more fruit.
        We will finish this race triumpantly.Our Redeemer liveth
        Be blessed
        Tebogo

  • Martha says:

    Thank you for your thoughts Susan. I’m reading this as I start my day. It’s a wonderful reminder to put a God first as I head out to work. Thank for being a blessing 🙂

  • Rosslyn says:

    This is just for me right now.

  • cierra says:

    very well put love this message
    God bless you

  • Eileen says:

    Thank you for the message, I truly needed it today 🙂

  • Lynne says:

    Gods sense of humor and His timing combined really do amaze and give me pause.

    I’ve been really struggling with something re: my employment at my church. I teach a music program. From the outside, there are functional problems with how it must be run, numbers aren’t consistent,etc. BUT, the outcome of time spent with these kids, their countenance when the sing, their desire to lead in worship each Sunday..its undeniable that the Lords in it and they are getting closer to the Lord.

    Satan has gotten my eyes off of Gods hand in this and has had me look at my power in all this, my abilities and functions. Frustration for the kids and about the function of the program, have pulled my eyes away from Him. HE is the light, in me, in those kids, and even in a quirkily run program!

    My prayer is that I may see His desire for this program, and know His design, so His light shines, and unlike that apple tree, situations and my earthly mind, at first blush, won’t be the chokers of fruit yet to be. Lord, give me Your vision, so that Your light may shine bright and that You may be glorified in my leading and in this program.

  • Mary says:

    Thank you. This spoke directly to my heart. I can truly identify with your walk. I have oftentimes seen visuals like this, but never put Christ in them.
    Now when I walk and see the beauty of God’s glory, God’s creations are the first scenes my eyes capture. Thank you for your insightful Christian
    messages. I am striving to let the world see the light of Christ in me.

    • ann says:

      Thanks for the inspiration, its amazing how God speaks to us through nature if take time to listen. Thanks Susan. May God help us to be conscious in daily events as each day unfolds. God bless you

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