02. But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They 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.
So this is one of my favourite sections of the bible, the book of Jeremiah contains some incredible stuff. The first part of this chapter talks about how a man is cursed when his life is focused and firmly centred on drawing value and strength from our own efforts along with the capabilities of those around us. There is a stark contrast though when we get to verse 7, which tells us that there is blessing in our lives when we trust not in the flesh but in the Lord.
Trouble is, this can sometimes be rather difficult to do. When the heat is on and life gets challenging I tend to default to a few things, my own ability to sort stuff or to chase after those I know that can help.
This isn’t in itself a bad thing, but the trouble comes when we put our confidence and hope in only ourselves and other people and not God. What happens, for me anyway, is that instead of running to God through the relationship I have with Him, I lurch to my own resources, abilities and efforts to fix or sort, to repair or build etc. What I have seen is that time and time again my efforts come up short and leave me, and others even, feeling worse off!
This verse suggests to me that when the heat comes, the man who has learnt to not trust that default gut reaction to build or sort it himself (without God) but has discovered a root of confidence in God, he is a man getting blessed.
The bible tells us that even when the heat is on this life will be fruitful! I don’t know about you but there have been so many times in my life when the heat is up and I have withered and retreated after having watched my energy, resources and confidence ebb away in the heat of battle.
So, what does this actually look like then? Well, for me this is about a relationship not a quick fix or emergency hotline in the storm. Roots grow stronger over time, leaves that are always green indicates seasons when this shouldn’t be the case, and years of drought suggest a longer journey. For me, this is about a continual pattern in our lives of saying ‘God, I trust you and only you, I am not putting my hope and confidence in me and my strength, or even those around me, it’s you, and only you.’
Image Credit: Ben White