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Recently, God gave me an image of a big tree growing atop a very narrow, tall hill. “How can this tree grow bigger?” the Lord asked me. I replied, “I guess it would need to be transplanted. It can only grow so big with that narrow piece of land.”
There are some right now that God is doing a transplant work in. As I read about transplanting trees in the natural, some of the process surprised me. In the natural, trees must be prepared for transplanting for anywhere from six months to a year before the transplant even happens! It begins with pruning the roots. You do it months in advance so that the tree has time to heal before the transplant.
So often we look for the “next” to drop the “old,” but this is going to be a leap of faith. This is a time in which God may be making cuts and changes in order to allow us to heal, become strong, transform in certain ways, or otherwise be prepared before we are ready for the new level God is bringing us to.
The timing of transplants is always either in the fall after leaves have been dropped or in spring before the first new growth happens. Thinking about these “seasons” spiritually, it is often when we feel like the Lord is doing the least with us that He is actually about to transplant us. We’re seeing old things drop from our lives. We’re not seeing new growth yet. We’re feeling somewhat frozen.
Then comes the water. This is the Hebrew month of Cheshvan which, ironically, was also the month in which Noah’s flood (which initiated his “transplant”) began. Not coincidentally, when transplanting trees, the instructions are to water significantly both before and after to prevent shock.
God is doing works right now that both wash away (cleansing and removing) as well as shore up (soaking roots to be full and prepare for transition). Take the time to slow down for these things. The secret place time with the Lord will be needed in extra-long soaking doses to prepare for the growth ahead!
The next step is to dig. Holes are dug both around the root ball of the tree to be moved as well as at the location of the new place for the tree. Spiritually, you may have felt the Lord digging around you … disconnecting you from things you have previously received from (both good and bad) that are not going to be helpful or needed for growth in this new season.
There is also space being made in the areas in which the Lord is going to move you. In the interim, it feels “sparse”, but this isn’t the plan’s fullness. Give the Lord time.
Finally, the tree’s roots are wrapped in burlap almost like a cocoon. When you are wrapped you feel confined. You feel like you have little space to move. You feel almost like Lazarus wrapped in grave clothes.
But the wrapping happens in order for the move to bigger and better spaces can happen in a safe way. God spoke a powerful phrase to me. “Tight spaces before bigger places”. God may be putting you in what feels like a narrower place than before.
You may be asking, “Lord, why does it feel like less is happening or that I’m moving backward?”. The transition from room to room happens through small hallways. The entrance to a plane is through a small boarding tunnel. The entrance into this world at birth is through a narrow passage. Tight places lead to big spaces and new lands.
This is not your “winding down.” It’s your preparation for transition.
Prayer: Lord, help us to soak You in. We invite and allow You to prune our roots and dig around us. We release everything that you don’t need us to carry in this new season. We even release the process and procedures to You. We will soak in Your joy and peace and be hopeful in the spaces and places You are preparing. Keep us obedient and on track so that we may glorify You. In Jesus’s name, Amen.
Sara Whitten is an author, speaker, equipper and founder of Arrows of Zion Ministry. She and her husband are pastors for the youth of Impact Christian Fellowship in Kerrville, Texas. Sara is a prophetic writer that is featured on Elijah List, Spirit Fuel, Charisma and more. She hosts “Hear God Every Day” on Charisma Podcast Network, a podcast with tools to help amplify the voice of God amidst the noise of everyday life.