Be like a tree (18-09-20)
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but 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. (Psalm 1. 1 - 3)
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. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. (Jeremiah 17. 7 - 8)
Trees know what is good for them! A quick glance through a book on trees will soon reveal that many trees have as much root structure hidden under ground as they have trunk and branches above. This gives them strength and stability in times of drought or high winds. The hidden roots will seek out water to keep the tree healthy. Some trees even grow by streams with some of their roots immersed in the water.
We had not been living in the Rectory long before we had a problem with some blocked pipework. An ‘endoscopy’ on these pipes soon revealed that they were full of tree roots, attracted to the regular water supply. By the extent of the tree roots, this had clearly been an ongoing issue for many years. There is simple wisdom here;
the tree clearly knew what was good for its well-being!
The psalmist compares the natural wisdom of the tree to seeking God and spending time in his presence. When we delight in the Lord and listen to his voice speaking to us from the pages of the Bible, we too can find strength and stability. Even in difficult or anxious times, we continue to be sustained and encouraged.
Meditating on the word of God means spending time reading the Bible and thinking about what you have read and its context, savouring it and drawing out the wisdom within it. This does not mean immunity from challenges or difficulties, but it does enable us to face them with confidence and trust in God. As we soak up his word, then we produce attitudes and actions that honour God, and we continue to be fruitful, blessing the lives of others with encouragements and acts of kindness.
Christ our wisdom, may we be like trees planted by the water, who do not fear when drought comes and whose leaves are always green. Give us delight in your word, that we may joyfully bear good fruit. Amen.