The whispered promises of Jeremiah 17:7-8 fairly shout to those who trust the Lord … Blessed is the (one) … whose confidence is in the Lord … Like a tree planted by water…it does not fear when heat comes … no worries in … drought and never fails to bear fruit.
Book-ended by blessing and fruit-bearing–and without fear, worries, or failure! Look at these magnificent words. Apply them to the giants standing in your way …
Jeremiah 17:7-8 But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He 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.
“blessed”—I tend to take a low view of God’s blessings. Because of that, too often I miss out because I figure that compliance with the rules is too big a price to pay for getting some uncertain “blessing.” What that means is that–at those times–I simply don’t believe God!
“who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him”—Jeremiah saw this as so important that he repeated himself. Confidence? In God or me? What does it mean to really trust in God? I think of the guy who crossed Niagara Falls last week on a tightrope. He prayed all the way across. He was trusting God every step of the way. (Unfortunately, the media suggested he was actually mumbling.)
I’ve had a tough week in many ways. More than once, I had to simply sit and do nothing. Just wait. I realized I was drained. If that’s you, remember that the vacuum, the empty spaces in our lives won’t stay that way long. They’ll be filled with negative thoughts, loser thoughts, resentment, darkness. We know where that garbage comes from …
“like a tree planted by the water”—I grew up in dry country—hot winds sweeping across the prairie could suck the life out of you. So go to your source. We know that the nature of a tree is to stay in one place. You say, “You can’t live your life that way.” True, but let’s look at the passage in terms of what the tree is meant to do and be: It’s meant to be consistent with its nature. If it goes against its nature of tapping into its source, it’ll perish. This phrase is telling us to stay close to our source of ideas, our inspiration.
Where do you get that surge of inspiration that motivates you to keep going, to not give up, to give it your best? Do you have a mentor, someone who’s aware when you’re facing the giants and prays for you, who takes you aside and reminds you what you’ve done before and what you can be now? If not, watch an older man to see how he handles the gut-busting challenges which land on his plate every week. Young women, listen to the mothers, the teachers, your sources. Be still and know. Then act; step out.
“when heat comes”—When, not if. Sooner or later, you’re going to find yourself in the cooker—someone questions your abilities, your ethics, your desire or commitment to the team, at work or on the gym floor. How do you respond?
“never fails to bear fruit”—In other words, if God has called you to be a writer, or to step up and take charge, to carry a project to completion, to be the husband and father that your family needs—are you ready? If you are, you’ll come through; you’ll bear that which nourishes others.
That is, you will if you’re like a tree planted by water.
I’d like to hear your story. Tell us when you were dry … and then you returned to your source. What happened?