Be a Tree!
The book of Jeremiah is a very intense and interesting book. It speaks much of judgment and it also speaks much of restoration. in chapter 17, there is a glimpse of hope and gladness in how God compares a man who trusts the Lord to a tree. This is very similar to the language found in Psalm 1. Here it is: “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,And whose hope is the Lord.
8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8
We’ve all seen “that tree”; a tree that is healthy and that bears much fruit. It is straight and strong. I contrast this with all of the ash trees that are dying around my house, victims of the emerald ash bore. But the man (or woman) God describes as a tree has some characteristics that we should take to heart. First, it is plant by the waters and its roots spread out by the river. This is a reference to the nourishment that we can receive from God. God had everything we need to be strong. As a tree needs water to grow and to be strong, so we need the word of God…”living water” if you will as Jesus describes Himself to be. The roots of a tree constantly take in that water and so we should constantly take in the things of God. The strong tree doesn’t have to fear when the heat comes because its leaf will still be green and it doesn’t have to be anxious in the year of drought, because it will continue to yield fruit. The tree is not protected from the heat or the drought but is protected through the heat and the drought. That’s just like you and me who trust in God. We are not protected from disease or job loss but we are protected through disease and job loss. We can bear fruit no matter the “weather” we find ourselves in.
So be a tree…grow your roots in the soil of God’s word, being nourished by the living water. You’ll be very glad you did!