Stressed? Pretend You’re a Plant

by Meghan Mellinger February 1, 2024
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.” Jeremiah 17:7 (NIV)

I can’t keep green things alive. (Rest in peace, mini cactus.) I overwater. I underwater. I forget to put the plant near a window. I never play classical music or whisper encouragement into its leaves.

It’s no surprise I also sometimes treat myself like I’ve treated my long list of shriveled succulents. I overdo it. I hustle through it. I forget to eat a vegetable. I don't stop to ask for help or whisper encouragement to my soul.

I tell myself it’s only a season of the year or season at work or season of life — once it’s over, I’ll be able to breathe again. But I keep coming back to the same status: stressed. Overwhelmed. Stranded in survival mode. And I was never a Girl Scout, so I’m ill-prepared for the elements.

The Lord cautions us about what happens when we rely on our own strength — we become withered and worn, like shrubs in a parched desert (Jeremiah 17:5-6).

But there’s hope outside of ourselves. When we rely on the Lord and His power in and through us, we’re like a tree planted by a river, connected to a living stream that won’t run dry.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7-8, NIV).

Tired of failing in self-reliance and ready to flourish in God-reliance? Let’s learn from God’s plant analogies and tend to our stressed souls.

  • Deepen your roots: From our gentle cries for help from the Holy Spirit to our daily debriefs about our thoughts and emotions, our accessible God cares about the details of our lives. Create practices in your day where you can share your life and burdens with God in prayer and strengthen your relationship with Him.
  • Get some sunlight: Get outside and soak in God’s creation. Go for a walk. Camp out under a tree. Sit by your window.
  • Watch what you tell yourself: If it’s scientifically proven that plants respond to positive talk, imagine how much more your heart needs to hear the Truth. Reframe and rewire your self-talk so you’re listening only to God’s promises and His Word. Keep a list of Bible verses in your phone or journal to reference when you need reminders.

Rooting ourselves in Jesus doesn’t mean stressors go away — the heat and the drought may still come. But life in Him and through His power means we don’t have to wither and get worn down by stress. When we rely on His power in us, we can live as trees planted by the living river.

Jesus, help me to surrender my finite strength and plug in to Your constant power source. I’m ready to plant myself in Your love and Truth. Please sustain me through all of life’s highs and lows. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


By investing in just a few minutes of prayer, God can help us redirect our minds away from stressful thoughts and toward truths and safe assurances found in Him. With the FREE resource “7 Morning and Evening Prayers To Get You Through This Week,” you can begin experiencing the peace God provides through connecting with Him daily. Sign up to receive this resource here.



For more from Meghan Mellinger, connect with her on Instagram.


John 15:5, “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” (NIV).

From a tree to a vine, God loves using plant analogies to illustrate that God-reliance is life-giving. Apart from Him, we can do nothing on our own. What aspect of this analogy resonates with you today? Share with us in the comments!

© 2024 by Meghan Mellinger. All rights reserved.

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