When a stump is all that remains of a tree, there’s not much life left. The stump of Jesse represented the lineage of King David that had dwindled down to almost nothing. Certainly it was not the kingdom of nobility and power it once was.
But when things look the most dim, that’s precisely when God loves to show up on the scene.
“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.” Isaiah 11:1
1 Corinthians 1:27 says, “God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”
Throughout history God has chosen to make more out of less. To make big out of small. To draw strength out of weakness. To bring life out of death.
To grow a shoot from a stump.
God could have chosen for His Son–His chosen Branch–to grow out of a flourishing thriving tree.
But He didn’t.
He chose a lifeless stump.
God likes using stumps. I think He actually prefers them.
That’s a hard concept to grasp. Often times we would prefer God remove our stumps and get rid of them. Paul called his stump a thorn in the flesh, and he asked God to take it away three times. But the Lord told Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
His power is made perfect in our weakness.
We all have stumps in our lives! Stumps are areas in our lives that feel barren, weak, empty, and lifeless.
Whatever your stump is, God wants you to give it to Him.
Give Him that broken marriage. Give Him that hectic job. Give Him that child you are worried about. Give Him that friendship. Give Him the time and energy you feel like you don’t have. Give Him your health. Give Him the money you’ve been holding on to. Give Him your insecurities and inadequacies. Whatever your stump is, go ahead, give it to Him. It’s more than just a stump to Him.
Then sit back in faith and watch what our great God will do.
Just like He did with the stump of Jesse, God will plant the shoot of His Son into your desolate stump, and He will bring a harvest beyond what you could ever imagine.
Paul said it best in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.
“Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Paul grew to appreciate his stump. He was proud of it! Why? Because through his weak stump, people saw the strong branch of Christ’s power.
When we have Him, we have everything.
We too can have a stump worth boasting about!