“Thus says the Lord: ‘Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. ‘Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:5-8
“We have an important job to do and it is not to survive troubled times; it is to take the hope of the world, Jesus Christ, to the ends of the earth.” – Jennie Allen
It has been a little over a year since the whole world shut down and we experienced the most globally unprecedented time of our lives. It can be easy to look at this passage in Jeremiah and not feel like a tree planted by water, but rather a shrub in the desert. Regardless of how we feel, we have work to do! When unforeseen weather comes and chaos surrounds us, there are two ways we can respond. Either we can be tossed to and fro by the wind and the waves, or we can remain steadfast in the midst of chaos, knowing where peace is found.
How can we bear fruit even in the midst of drought?
By being like a tree planted by water and sending our roots deep into the soil so we can grow. The thing about a tree is that it cannot control the weather, but it can control what it does in the midst of it. We can’t control what is going to come – changes in finances, hardship with family and friends – but we can choose how we respond. We can choose to continue to bear fruit and spend our lives well for the glory of God even in the midst of crazy weather.
Our hope and our prayer for the Church is that we would be marked by giving our lives away in every season. We don’t want to succumb to comfort or fear, but we want to do the obedient thing right in front of us in every moment of every day. And that’s only possible when we are like the tree planted by water who is connected to its source of life.
Our prayer, hope and passion is that we would recognize that we have what we need, so we can do what we’ve been called to do, in every season.
Take some time to watch this video clip from IF:Lead 2020: Root Yourself in Jesus.