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Devotional: April 15, 2021

“But blessed is the man who trusts me, God, the woman who sticks with God. They’re like trees replanted in Eden, putting down roots near the rivers— Never a worry through the hottest of summers, never dropping a leaf, Serene and calm through droughts, bearing fresh fruit every season.

Jeremiah 17: 7-8 The Message

The days continue to get warmer, as we move on into spring and look forward to summer. One of the signs of changing seasons in our valley is the irrigation water coming back on. Today was the first day we turned on the irrigation water at the church and our home.

As many of you know, our valley is a fairly arid place. If it were not for irrigation water and sprinkler systems, most things organic would dry up in the heat of summer. Only sagebrush and tumbleweed would survive…

Here, the prophet Jeremiah compares those who trust in God with trees which put down roots near rivers. It never ceases to amaze me when driving across Central Washington, and so many other places, how the trees are clustered around the streams and rivers. Sometimes, the streams are so small that you cannot even see them from the road. Yet you know they are present because of the trees which hug the stream banks.

In the same way that a tree’s roots reach down to find water, so we reach towards God for spiritual nourishment. Like hot dry winds, life often presents us with challenges. Social unrest, financial worries, concerns about family and friends, aches and pains and health worries: any of these things can begin to make us feel weary. We can begin to feel as if we are in our own drought.

When we yield to the realization that we cannot spiritually sustain ourselves independently, then we can begin to draw on the nurturing strength of the Lord. God wants to provide for us: that is why Jesus characterized Himself as “living water.” Maintaining and nourishing our relationship with the Lord is one of the major themes of this scripture.

How do we grow and flourish like the strong tree’s near the streams? We go to the source, Jesus Christ. When we meet with Him on a daily, hourly, or moment-by-moment basis, we allow Him to feed our souls. The Lord is always there, waiting for us to draw from Him. When life feels overwhelming, we must sometimes dig even deeper. We may not always see on the surface what we need, but our roots are always able to reach out to the Lord. Daily, we ought to ask Him for strength and guidance and calm in facing our many challenges.

When we follow God’s desires, we ourselves can be like the trees which grow along streams. As we admire the trees of our valley, which remain green and strong through the heat of the summer, let us commit ourselves to remaining close to the Lord. He is our source of strength, health, and abundant life.

Prayer

Thank you, Lord, for the beauty and growth which surround me each and every season. Forgive me when I think I can forge through life without your spiritual sustenance. Help me to remember that You want to be a constant source of strength to me. It is a blessing to know that You will never leave me, or abandon me. May I draw upon You and guide others to see the never-ending source of strength You offer to everyone. I pray this prayer in the name of Your Son, the Living Water, Jesus Christ. Amen.


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