Monday, July 25, 2011

Be like a tree...

During my devotions recently I've been following a plan to read through the Bible in one year. Each day has me reading a different part of Scripture and even though I don't follow the plan exactly (sometimes I will skip a section or read twice as much as the day allots for another section) I enjoy being encouraged in different ways each week.

Today I continued reading in Jeremiah. It always amazes me that even in the midst of pouring out judgment on Israel and Judah for their wickedness, God still shows his faithfulness to them. In Jeremiah 17:7-8, God interrupts his descriptions of upcoming judgment and says, "But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He 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."

This really spoke to me because in the middle of July, it's hot. It's always hot this time of year but of course, every year feels like the 'worst yet.' Most of the country is sweltering right now and we are definitely in that crowd. Not only is it hot, it's dry. When I look out of my windows, I feel so sad to see my trees and shrubs just wilted in the blistering sun. Even with regular watering in the morning, they just languish in the heat of the day. Of course, I can walk inside and relax in the AC, but my plants are stuck out there and they look so sad. Every year I long for fall, when rain will come and my plants will look alive again.

But down by the lake near our house, the alder bushes at the edge of the water never languish - they are always green and full. It could be 120 degrees for all they care... unless someone comes by and hacks them off at the root with a chainsaw, they are going to be absolutely fine.

Lately I have been feeling a little bit of the 'heat' of life. No great trials or tribulations... just burdens of worry that I've been carrying. Worry for friends, family, our future, my own personal desires... I never considered myself much of a worrier until I realized that recently I've been wilted from constantly pondering these things in my mind. (And constantly thinking of something is not considered 'prayer.') When I'm grouchy to Brian or when I find myself dealing with inner anger, I can definitely assume that I'm carrying these burdens on my own... and that I'm not putting forth much fruit at all.

But what is the cure for this? Nothing but trust. Trust is the way to put my roots in the water... to always be fruitful no matter the season. I'm sure this is a life lesson I will have to learn every 2.5 weeks for the rest of my time on Earth, but I want to start practicing now... practicing giving these things to God. He knows where we will be and what we will be doing a year from now... He sees the loved ones and friends I am concerned about and He loves them more than I do. Nothing escapes His sight. He knows the desires of my heart before I even speak them. I don't have to worry about telling Him what I'd like, over and over and over again. I can just focus on submitting to His will and setting my burdens at His feet.

It is so wonderful and freeing to live for a greater purpose than myself. And what a mighty God we serve!



  1. Ugh - worry sucks and I struggle with it A LOT! Thank you for posting this as I'm going through something at this very moment. Quite often I forget to just trust.

  2. Veronica, I'm sorry to hear that you're being tested, and I hope the Lord shows himself very powerful in what you're going through. The past few days I've felt like my heart is speeding up as my mind races over what's going on in life... and it's stuff I have no control over. I am sure that if I DID have control (ie, an important decision to make, etc.) it would be even more difficult to trust. But we can do it - God wouldn't give us a command if we couldn't follow it, and what could be easier than just laying our burdens at his feet? So funny how that feels so difficult! Grr.

    Sky, I love it too! I think the idea is echoed throughout the Bible - to be like a tree planted by the water - but I was surprised to see it in Jeremiah. Thank you!