Saturday, April 27, 2019
7 “Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.
8 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.”
14 Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.
This is a wonderful passage. I can just picture a tree growing beside a stream. Its branches bend towards the life-giving water, maybe even has leaves that gently touch its surface. Because it is near a stream it has no worries about summer heat or seasons of drought. The water will provide the nutrients it needs to be fruitful, year in and year out.
Jeremiah is saying that we are like that tree planted by the water, as we put our faith in the Lord, as we trust in Him. When we remain rooted in God, we have the kind of faith that endures through times of hardship or testing. As a tree matures, it builds on what it already has in order to put out new shoots, leaves and roots. The same is true of us. As we work out of the truth we have already received in faith, we build on that faith so that it matures and is enriched.
I think of spring rains that make the grass green and allow it to grow quickly. But then in hot and dry summers the grass withers because its root system is shallow. It cannot send roots deep into the soil to find moisture the way other plants can. It is hard for grasses to withstand a lengthy drought. In the same way, some people do not possess a faith strong enough to endure through hard times. They don’t perceive God’s loving hand because they have not become rooted in Him.
Jesus called himself the living water, as recorded in John’s gospel chapter 7:37-38. He said, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” As we hold on to the truths in God’s Word, we may be refreshed and strengthened for our walk of faith, to become mature.
As Paul puts it in Ephesians 4, as we become mature in faith, “we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching… Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is Christ.”
You, dear God, are the river of live. We who are planted by the river of your Word are faithful, rooted in your love. We pray for those who do not know you or have not learned to find in you the hope, the life, the truth that endures to eternal life. Help us put down deep roots and be nourished by Christ’s living water. Amen.