Signposts: Daily Devotions

Wednesday, July 23

Can papyrus grow where there is no marsh? Can reeds flourish where there is no water?
—Job 8:11

Environment is everything when it comes to making things grow. It doesn’t matter if it is tall corn stalks in the middle of Nebraska, or reeds in the middle of Egypt, or people in the midst of everyday life. Environment is what makes the conditions for growth possible.

When growth is stunted or inhibited, or when a growing thing becomes sick, it is because something is askew in the surroundings, and those surroundings need to be changed if full health and development are be restored.

Much is written and taught in contemporary society about the need for balance in our lives. We know that when we are unbalanced, we are distorted. We do not have the right environment in which to thrive. And so, we try to create a more positive environment by changing our reactions, by reducing our stress, by taking time for ourselves, by exercising.

What about your soul? What about the environment that surrounds your soul? Do you feel any imbalance, disturbance, or distortion there? Is there ample time and space for your soul to grow, or is it cramped and scrunched between all the busy-ness of your life? Is there enough silence so that it can be still and commune with its Creator? Is it choking on a diet of shame and guilt, or it is swimming freely in an ocean of unconditional love?

Think for a moment about your soul—can it grow where there is no marsh? Can it flourish where there is no water?

O God, give me the wisdom to see what needs to be changed in my life so that my soul is able to breathe.

The Signposts for July are written by Renée Miller and originally appeared on in 2004.