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Five Ways to Stay Close to God

Today, when I write this, there are four weeks left of summer, more behind than ahead. My potted flowers that flourished rest now ’til their final slumber. 

In a leafy part of my garden, with sunflowers towering above, five pumpkins continue to deepen green on the soil. But once there were six. Without a healthy peduncle (stem) attached to the vine, a pumpkin will not survive. 

Everyday I water the patch, and one day, not too long ago, I moved a vine “to a better place” I reasoned. As the days progressed, I noticed the lone pumpkin on that vine I had tampered with, ceased growing. No matter how much I watered, that pumpkin yellowed, the stem turned brown, and detached from the vine.

My self-righteous action caused the fruit to die. Once no longer nourished from the vine, the pumpkin could not thrive. 

Jesus says, “I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me, and I in you, you will bear much fruit, apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5 NIV)

When our efforts are our own, apart from doing what God says, apart from believing in His word, and apart from a community of believers, we no longer are nourished to receive the life Jesus offers us. Our spiritual life fails to thrive and “withers.” (John 15:6). 

In our current time where social media strangers and Amazon review counts measure world-thriving, staying close to God is still the only way to produce the lasting peace our souls, hearts, and minds need. 

Are you feeling the tiredness, the stress, and the discontentment from striving for more from the world?

Look up.

Take a breath.

Breathe in “Yahweh.”

Stairs Elbow Falls

Five Ways to Nourish Yourself

  1. Let go and let God work in you.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Roman 8:28

2. Be nourished from His word.

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35

3. Join a community of believers.

And let us consider how we may spur one another toward love and good deeds, not giving up on meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10 24-25

4. Stay close to Him in prayer.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

5. Move closer to Him who gives you the nutrition to thrive.

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3

How are you being nourished by God today?

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26 Comments

  1. “In our current time where social media strangers and Amazon review counts measure world-thriving, staying close to God is still the only way to produce the lasting peace our souls, hearts, and minds need. ” Yes! Beautiful reminder, Lynn. Lately, I find myself pulling further away from social media and striving to stay closer to God.

    1. Hi Jill! Being an author requires marketing your books and having a social media presence is part of the journey. I imagine it can be a fine balance to have a thriving social media presence that does not overcome other aspects of your life (and what you value most). May God keep drawing you near to His presence as you navigate sharing your lovely words and books to the world!

    2. Hi Lynn

      Enjoyed reading the analogy of moving the pumpkin on your own to a spot you believed would be better for its’ growth but then you found out moving the pumpkin was not good for its’ growth. My h like when we may choose something we believe is good for us but God had something better in mind had we drawn closer to Him and asked Him.

      Thank you for the insightful message and for sharing tips on how to grow closer to God in life’s daily journey.

  2. Thank you for the beautiful object lesson! It’s so tempting to think we know what’s best. But only Jesus can really nourish our hearts and those of our loved ones too. I so needed this encouragement today.

    1. Hi Bettie, It’s wonderful to see your words (and face) here. Yes, it is tempting to take control in our world that can seem so chaotic! But it is God that brings us peace in all circumstances. Blessings and hugs to you!

  3. The pumpkin story is such a great analogy of when we are on our own, Lynn. Thank you. Yes, we thrive only as we move closer to Him. I love your reflections, the verses, and the spectacular photos. That’s what is nourishing my soul at this moment. 🙂 Love and blessings to you!

    1. Hi Trudy, I was saying to company earlier today that I may get one pie out of my five small sugar pumpkins. And it has been a lot of work to possibly bake one pie. haha! But I’ve enjoyed seeing them grow, even though a white powder fungus, popular with pumpkins, has taken over the patch. God lovingly tends to us, in sickness and in health, watering our thirsty souls with His words and creation. My hope is my photography helps nourish other thirsty souls by sharing His beautiful creations. It nourishes me to know you enjoy my photos! Thank you!

  4. It’s amazing to me how much we can learn about God and us in a garden. And I love the object lessons every garden gives. Thanks for sharing your insight today.

    1. Thank you, Joy! My yield of pumpkins is small, but I have enjoyed watching what would happen with my small patch. Opening a can of pumpkin would have been easier than tending to the pumpkins, but I would have missed out on the anticipation! With God, too, He wants us to be present on the journey, not worried about what may come from our efforts. Yes, lots of insights we can learn from our gardens!

  5. That was a good analogy with the pumpkin. (And sorry you killed it.) I’m fortunately almost all of my friends are believers and many of them part of my church family.

  6. beautiful, Lynn. as I read, ‘look up, take a breath’ I could feel myself doing that. thanks for keeping us on the right track as we continue to move ahead with Scripture that speaks right to where we are.

    i love pumpkins. i’m glad they’re a part of your story today. and i hope you’re having a perfectly lovely weekend.

  7. I love the way the Lord speaks through His creation. My garden never fails to provide, through the gentle teaching of the Spirit, a season full of spiritual nourishment. Thank you so much for sharing this and for reminding us that it takes intention to “abide” and remain connected to the source of Life. I’m so thankful for the faith communities that grow in these online venues, despite the cultural emphasis on worldly success. Your site is a blessing and your photography, writing and insight is always a gift.

  8. This was a hot and dry summer for us. It truly took effort to keep plants growing. Your photos are beautiful and a precious reminder to “move closer to Him who gives you the nutrition to thrive.”