Photo: sabin paul croce, flickr
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. Jeremiah 17:5–8
We see a theme developing in the prophets, as they exhort the people of Israel and Judah to trust in the Lord and not in humans. We are so easily tempted to trust in that which we see or feel or touch; we find it harder to trust in what is unseen but real.
But when we do, when we put our hope and trust in God, we become like a tree planted by a stream of water. Our roots go down far into the earth of God’s word. As we feed on his light and life, we can’t help but to grow. Branches and leaves and flowers burst forth from us, and we are amazed that we’re even able to provide shade and a place for birds and animals to make their home.
You might be thinking, okay, that’s lovely imagery, but what does that mean for me? I’m home with my kids and they’re driving me crazy. I’m older and I’m looking for a job but I suspect my age is hindering me. I’m at uni and wondering what to do with my life. What comes to my mind in these disparate life situations is abiding in Jesus, as he says in John 15. He is the vine and we are the branches. As we rest/remain/live in him, his Spirit will move in and through us. He will give us the strength to love our children and provide a soothing word to their tantrums. He will give us the hope and perseverance to keep trying for just the right job. He will show us how to depend on him for the next steps in our life. Especially as we come together in prayer, we see that he leads, guides, encourages and affirms us.
Prayer: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you provide us with the living water that brings life and fruitfulness. Flow through us this day.