The Lord proclaims:
Cursed are those who trust in mere humans,
who depend on human strength
and turn their hearts from the Lord.
They will be like a desert shrub
that doesn’t know when relief comes.
They will live in the parched places of the wilderness,
in a barren land where no one survives.
Happy are those who trust in the Lord,
who rely on the Lord.
They will be like trees planted by the streams,
whose roots reach down to the water.
They won’t fear drought when it comes;
their leaves will remain green.
They won’t be stressed in the time of drought
or fail to bear fruit.
Have you ever been through a dry time? A time when you felt like nothing in your life was working right, when God seemed far away, and encouragement was elusive? How do you get through?
This passage from Jeremiah tells us what we already know – there’s a limit to human strength. When we trust only in ourselves, our roots are shallow. We’re unable to access the deep stores of grace, hope, comfort and peace that only the Spirit can provide. We will all hit a dry bottom where it’s not possible to go further, to dig deeper, to keep going without a few drops of divine hope. But when we are planted firmly in faith, our roots reach deep into stores of life-giving, sustaining spiritual power that will keep us from withering even under the most intense heat.
Here’s the thing about that kind of rootedness: you can’t develop it in a moment. You can’t grow that deep in a few days, when you realize the drought is coming. No, it takes a sustained effort over weeks, months, and years. That’s how mighty oaks are grown – not in a moment but over a lifetime rooted along the stream of God’s love for us.
For Pondering & Prayer
Think about a time in your life when you felt most firmly rooted in faith. What were some of the disciplines you were practicing in those times of your life? Is it time to renew and revisit them?
For many of us, feeling deeply rooted is about feeling deeply connected to people who have had a powerful influence our spiritual journey. Is there a relationship with a mentor or spiritual friend you need to rekindle today?
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