Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. (Psalm 1:1-3 NIV)
Doesn’t that make a lovely word picture? The tree planted by streams of water sounds so soothing. Now, I am not sure about you, but my life rarely looks like that. I feel as if my “tree” is often barren, my leaves feel withered, and I am not at all sure I am prospering. If I so choose, I can begin to feel negatively about myself and my life. Does this mean I am not blessed? Does it mean I am not doing the things I should be doing? Is my life somehow a punishment?
I enjoy reading British literature from the 1800’s. I ran across this passage in “The Tenant of Wildfeld Hall” by Anne Bronte and felt it was an apt comparison for the verse in Psalms and helped me to reconcile the verse and the happenings in my life. The narrator of the story is speaking to a mother who wishes to protect her young child from every adversity in life.
“Such experience, to him (to use a trite simile), will be like the storm to the oak, which, though it may scatter the leaves, and snap the smaller branches, serves but to rivet the roots, and to harden and condense the fibres of the tree.”
Isn’t that the opportunity that our challenges affords us? We may have our leaves scattered and branches broken - and no, we don’t like any of it, but that same storm will drive our roots deeper into Jesus, strengthening us and preparing us for the things that may lie ahead for us or for others, when we are called to serve as guideposts along the way.
We can still be that tree in Psalms 1, and we will yield our fruit in season. The days begin to grow shorter in the northern hemisphere. It won't be long until the leaves are shed and storms bring down branches; but in the following spring? Ah, in the spring, that tree shall flower and bear fruit abundantly.
Keep focused on God’s Word, dear reader. Dwell in it. Absorb it into your heart and into your life - and you shall truly prosper when the time is right!
Father God, thank You so much for the imagery in Your word - and thank you for the insightful words of others than can apply new meanings to what You have to say to us. Let each of us, be confident that one day, we will bear fruit and bear it abundantly. Help us recall that the beauty and bounty of spring can only come after the harshness of winter. Amen and Amen. So be it, Lord!
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