But 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 (NIV)
Since Typhoon Mangkhut, trees in Hong Kong have been something of a focus since so much devastation was caused to them. I live in the Northern New Territories and it has been sad to see so much damage; but despite the broken branches, the trees have survived because their roots were good and deep. This is sadly not the case for trees planted in shallow concrete planters – they fell down and have since been removed.
Where I grew up in the UK, we were surrounded by very tall beech trees, which had roots that went down as far as the tree was tall. Trees need good roots, not only to remain strong but also to drink deeply of the water and nutrients in the ground. Hence the verse from Jeremiah – such a great analogy for Christian living.
We are to live in trust and confidence in the Lord and so have deep roots in the Living Water of the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-38). But this trust quickly gets sabotaged by two F’s – Fear or insecure living in the light of the “what if” question and Forgetfulness – forgetting what God has already done for us.
We are so easily caught up in insecurity: how many times I have been obsessed with “what if this happens?” or “what if that does not happen?” – all of which is a waste of mental energy because I cannot answer any of these questions! Jesus told His followers many times “do not fear” a command we simply have to practice and, every time we do practice it in the face of our fears, our “roots” in Him grow deeper.
These roots also grow deep when we do not forget what God has done in the past – that’s why prayer journals are so good – we can go back and read them and so remember what God has done for us and what He will continue to do despite the “heat” and “drought” in our lives (Psalm 63:1-2).
Let us live out our roots by:
- Thanking Father God for His patience and unending grace; and,
- Asking Him to forgive our fears and forgetfulness and to help us live our daily lives according to the confidence and trust in Him so that we will feast on the abundance of His house and drink from His river of delight (Psalm 36:8).