July 23, 2021
Blessed is the one . . .
. . . whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
This has been one of the rainiest summers I can remember. Our ground is always wet, the basement of our old farmhouse is always damp, and the mosquitos are downright plague-like. When you walk near the edge of our yard, the woods are audibly humming from the multitude of mosquitos. It’s hard to mow, hard to keep the cars clean, and mud is my constant companion.
But there’s a few things that have done better this July than in any year previous. We planted dozens of small trees in our orchard and along the lane this spring. Usually those small saplings are suffering in July – with underdeveloped root systems, the dry weather makes them extremely susceptible to dying. Not this year. When we would usually have irrigation and daily watering on our chore list, we haven’t given it a thought—and those young trees are thriving! Why? It’s simple. There is water everywhere. Whenever those trees need sustenance, it’s immediately available. They are growing as fast as they are able both up and down.
In an arid climate like the middle east, this is exactly what the Psalmist is describing. Trees planted on the edge of a stream aren’t dependent on rainfall. Whenever they are ready to grow, the resource they most need is immediately available. They can bear fruit in season regardless of the weather from year to year.
You and I can be like those trees. Imagine the weather as our superficial circumstances like a fulfilling job, physical health, and loving relationships. When those things are all in place, it’s like rain. We can easily grow and thrive. But what happens when we experience difficulty and conflict? If we are depending only on the rain to thrive, the drought of suffering makes us less fruitful, and in extreme cases, brings death in our faith, relationships, and mental health.
God’s promise is that there is a deeper source of strength and sustenance available. If we spend our time soaking in the truths of God’s Word and resting on His promises, we will experience growth in faith, hope and love—even when our circumstances would seem to dictate otherwise. If you’ve ever seen someone demonstrate joy despite suffering or peace in the middle of turmoil, you’ve seen someone who has their roots planted near a constant source of water.
My encouragement to you as I’ve already said on Monday and Wednesday, is to soak in God’s Word and let your roots grow deep. When you experience drought and difficulty, you will reap the reward of a life-sustaining source.