Like a tree.
7 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.
8 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.” (NIV)
As soon as I start reading this passage, I am taken back to the Beatitudes from Jesus in Matthew 5. It’s as if the Lord wants to bless us. The word ‘bless’ means happy. God wants us to have an enjoyable life and it is evident from how often He says to us ‘blessed is the one…’
This happiness comes from trusting the Lord. Trusting is important. To trust is to obey when it doesn’t make sense. It is to respond to God as if He really is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving. If you have faith that God is who He says He is, then you can trust Him and His wisdom for life. If He says to move left, you can trust that moving left will move you closer to the life He has called you to. This doesn’t mean, of course, moving left will be pleasant. There is wisdom found in facing hardship. But that’s the point, God not only knows where to move us for this happy life, but He knows along the way when we need comfort and when we need a challenge.
The happiness springs forth from our trust, but it gushes out forming a river in what this trust does to us. True happiness is found when we become like a tree planted by the water, so healthy and vibrant, giving shade and fruit to all who come near. Jesus’ words again come to mind when He said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Trees do not exist for themselves. They provide shade for others. They produce fruit for others. They are pure givers and the healthier they are, the more they have to give.
Do you know anyone in your life who needs a friend who can give them shade from the heated pressure they face at home or work? Do you know anyone who has been eating rotten fruit and are in need of some refreshment of the soul? Do you know anyone going through the storm who needs a friend strong enough to lean upon?
Whether it is a friend, a co-worker, your children, or even your parents, happiness is found in doing ministry. We need the river of life flowing through our veins so we stay near Jesus who is the river of living water that feeds us. But in our health, happiness is a tree.
Prayer: Lord, teach me to trust in all things so my foliage may be broad and my fruit robust for those who need refreshment and make me strong for others to hold on to in the storms. Amen.