Planted By Living Water

Planted by living water.

Last month in the Tri-Cities, there was a dazzling light show. It was caused by the fire that was contained in the Columbia delta by Richland. It was stunning to see the red-orange glow late into the night, and we prayed for the safety of the first responders and anyone caught up in the inferno. Theo still believes it was some volcano that erupted lava in the area regardless of how many times I tell him it was only fire. Thankfully the fire only consumed brush and some groves of Russian Olive trees, and the river contained the more dangerous elements of fire to some islands dotted throughout the water. Based on the intensity of the flames, I would have imagined that the fire would have consumed all vegetation on the island, but it only affected the smaller brush. The proximity to the water is responsible for the durability of the other plants and trees on the islands. It reminds me of this passage from the writings of the prophet Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 17:7-13

 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose trust is the LORD.
8 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.”
9 The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?
10 “I the LORD search the heart
and test the mind,
to give every man according to his ways,
according to the fruit of his deeds.”
11 Like the partridge that gathers a brood that she did not hatch,
so is he who gets riches but not by justice;
in the midst of his days they will leave him,
and at his end he will be a fool.
12 A glorious throne set on high from the beginning
is the place of our sanctuary.
13 O LORD, the hope of Israel,
all who forsake you shall be put to shame;
those who turn away from you shall be written in the earth,
for they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living water.

The person described in this passage is the person I want to be. I want to be known as a person that trusts in God. Observe how Jeremiah describes this person; they stay alive, vibrant, and do not become anxious even in difficult times. This passage comes from the greater narrative regarding the narrative of Judah’s failings. This interior passage contrasts the behavior of Judah, choosing to trust human abilities, and ultimately trusting God. If we rely on only our skills or the people around us, we will fail, and they will let us down. There is only one way to acquire our outcome, and that is by trusting in God.

People have remarked how impressed they are that our family can stay positive without receiving our household goods. I suppose it is remarkable, but I don’t see this as an opportunity to live begrudgingly but to realize that this is an opportunity to trust in God. Even if we never see our “stuff” again, God has taken care of us. Not only are we blessed spiritually speaking, but the worldwide church (even people we have never met) have blessed us financially and have showered us with so many things; it is hard not to be anything but grateful. And so, even in a difficult time, my attitude is not resentful or bothered but thankful.

Having an attitude like this is what it means to be planted by a stream, placing our trust in God. We know that whatever happens, God is still sitting on His throne. He is the fountain of living water; in Him, we will trust.

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