Jeremiah 17:7-8 - 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.
When I was in college, we played a prank on some friends of ours. Their apartment had only one door to the outside, which opened off a short hallway. We found a giant tumbleweed about 12 feet across and shoved it into that hallway. The door was completely blocked. They had to use the windows to get out. Fortunately, they were only three feet off the ground!
That prank was only possible because tumbleweeds come off their roots very, very easily. They live in places where rain is rare, and the land is dry. The plants dry up, snap off their roots, and go rolling across the landscape—to be found by college students teasing their friends.
Tumbleweeds are the complete opposite of the trees the prophet Jeremiah talks about in this passage. Those trees never dry up. Their roots go deep into the soil, gathering water from the nearby stream. It doesn't matter if the summer is hot or even if the rains fail to come. As long as the stream is there, the tree will stay green and bear fruit. The stream makes all the difference.
Jeremiah says that's what it's like for us who trust in the Lord. He is the water we need to thrive and grow. He is our life. As long as we are rooted in the Lord, we are alive and fruitful. We are not tumbleweeds, doomed to blow away in the wind.
This doesn't mean we won't have difficult years. Even for a tree planted by a stream, there are still hot summers. There are still years of drought when the rain never comes. For Christians, too, there are hard times. We grieve for people we love. We face sickness and loss. We deal with painful family problems: lost jobs—legal problems—financial troubles. And yet the Lord is always with us, always giving us His life. On the surface it looks like nothing is happening. The action is all at the roots.
If you are going through a difficult time right now, let those roots go down and cling to the Lord. Jesus understands what you are suffering. He has promised to stay with you. He will not leave you alone. He will strengthen you. You are the one He loved so much that He lay down His life for you at the cross—and then He rose from the dead three days later. If He loved you as much as that, He will surely see you through your troubles now.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, give me Your living water and make me to grow strong roots in You. Amen.