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  • Writer's pictureTara L. Banks

Forest For The Trees

I don't know about you, but sometimes I can be pretty hard on myself. I can be hyper-critical of my own flaws and nearly obsess over how glaring those things are to me. I can see all the positives in others, but often not in myself. I can be cruising along and doing pretty well in 90% of my life, but my focus somehow tends to be on the 10% where I struggle.

I will self-talk myself into quite the state with all the shoulda/coulda/wouldas in my life and how surely no one is doing all of those things as badly as me. (Anyone else?)

I can't seem to see the forest for the trees.

Just recently I was talking with a friend and she was saying that she sometimes struggled to hear God in everyday moments and was asking if it was truly as possible as I talk about all the time to hear from Him in mundane moments.

And then, as if in a so-prove-to-me-that-this-is-a-real-thing kind of way, gave me an on-the-spot challenge to look at a plant sitting nearby and tell her what I thought God wanted to say to us in that very moment.

Nothing like pressure.

(However, the beautiful thing about this was the pressure was not on me! It was just up to me to be still and listen, the rest was up to the Lord.)

So—I took a deep breath. Looked at the plant, closed my eyes, and said, "Ok Lord, I'm listening." And this is what I saw and what I feel like he said and what I said to her as I processed the moment.

"I see the plant. The long leaves and all their individual striations and colors. Each is very very different, each very very beautiful. I acknowledge the creativity of God and I'm thankful that He made something so beautiful right here for us to look at. I also see that little spot at the base of that leaf. It's nothing major, but I see it. Maybe that's the thing God wants us to focus on today. While that little spot on that leaf isn't compromising the beauty of the plant, if I focus on it, it somehow becomes all that I see instead of focusing on ALL the beauty that the plant has to offer. This tiny spot is not the whole plant. It's just one tiny spot. It's not going to kill the plant - the rest is so strong and flourishing. It's the same with us - sometimes we get so focused on one tiny spot in our lives that we miss out on all the incredible things that God is doing in our lives. We get so consumed with the 10% that we miss out on the 90%. God wants us to embrace all the beautifully different, creative, flourishing growth in our lives and not be hyper-focused on the small areas that just need more time to grow."

A simple word from a simple plant. It stung me to say it because I knew the Lord was speaking to me as much as to my friend. I needed to hear it. I needed that pause with the plant.

I need to work on embracing those areas in my life that just need time to grow.

Fellow Wait-er. He is always speaking. Where are you seeing him and hearing him today?

How We Wait Today

Are you often critical of the 10% in your life? Do you only see that one blemished part of your character and then struggle to "see the forest for the trees"? You are not alone! There are so many wonderful things about the way you've been created. You've also been placed specifically with the people you do life with for such a time as this to encourage you along the way and help you see it. Instead of focusing on all that is wrong with ourselves or our situation, let's instead focus on the truth we find in Ephesians 1 which says ......

v.4 "God chose us to be in a relationship with Him even before He laid out the plans for this world...."


v.11 "As His heirs, we are predestined to play a key role in his unfolding purpose..."


v. 17 that God would "....give (us) minds ready to receive wisdom and revelation so that (we) will truly know (Him)."


((Want to read more from Tara and more about hearing God in everyday moments? Pick up your copy of Waiting On Wonders, 40-Days of Wonder Devotional at Amazon or get a signed, jacketed hardback special edition copy HERE)) ✨

p.s. did you know there is MERCH on the website! New items dropping all the time - check it out!

...And please consider giving this post a 🤍 and maybe even drop a comment with your experience. I'd be so honored if you'd share this blog with a friend or let them know to follow along at @waitingonwonders on Instagram. Thank you!

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Megan Hrenya
Megan Hrenya
Aug 04, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Beautiful post today-thank you. And passing along to a friend who could also use it!!!

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