“Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
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
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.” Psalm 1:1-3
“The righteous flourish like the palm tree
and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
They are planted in the house of the Lord;
they flourish in the courts of our God.
They still bear fruit in old age;
they are ever full of sap and green.” Psalm 92:12-14
“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 17:7-8
An unseasonably cool breeze mingles with the gurgling soothe of a waterfall in the day’s early. Blue green balls hold fast to lofty spruce arms, nascent and strong. Fresh greeting becomes fresh energizing in summer’s wane. After long-stretched and soaked hot, day in after day out, it’s the afternoon rains that have nourished everything to ongoing vitality. Even the birds chat happily.
Seasons come and go, as do years. Roots bud then stretch and tunnel, spreading far and deep in nourishing soil, and holding strong in occasional drought. They absorb enough to send shoots up through the earth to reach skyward, year after year to stretch taller and wider. To be green at summer’s end is to have steadily drunk in rain, absorbing its needed nourishment to last through occasional times of drought.
For the Christian, to remain green year in, year out, and through harshest hottest times, we also need to take in truth, grace, and wisdom. We must be planted firmly by streams of living water for satiety through droughts of direction, or hope. It is God’s living word that brings righteousness, teaches trust, and effects flourishing. He satisfies and nourishes into old age. (John 4:14; 7:38)
How have we been sapped by the season’s heat? Are we drained of empathy toward others, short on patience, bereft of love? Are we spending our affection and attention in the right, life-giving places, or are we constantly drained of energy and will to do the next right thing? Where have we allowed apathy or lethargy to triumph over spiritual hunger and zeal? What changes might we need to make to addictive habits, however ‘benign,’ to spend more thought and energy on what produces spiritual fruit in us and others?
“Jesus, keep me near the cross,
There a precious fountain;
Free to all, a healing stream,
Flows from Calv’ry’s mountain.
In the cross, in the cross,
Be my glory ever;
From the cross my ransomed soul
Nothing then shall sever.” ~Fanny Crosby (1869)
Father, keep me drinking from You always, and bearing fresh fruit in every season.