I am a visual person. My eyes are always taking in vast array of details. I can’t turn it off. Being a visual person, I thoroughly enjoy the beauty of nature. I also enjoy the colors and subtleties in a painting and other works of fine art. I also appreciate a good movie where vivid cinematography is utilized, and wonderful imagery is highlighted. Words can also be used to evoke images into our mind’s eye. That is one of many reasons why I love the following passage of scripture.
7 “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.”
What a beautiful and meaningful picture these two short verses paint!
Use your mind's eye and imagine that tree; a huge, healthy tree covered with lush green leaves, bursting with bright, delicious fruit just ready for the picking. Now pan back the camera of your mind’s eye and picture this vibrant tree in the midst of brown, dry, barren, scorched land. Maybe a tumble weed blows by like in one of those old western movies. How is it that this tree can flourish in the midst of this hostile environment? But then you notice that behind the tree is a stream. That is what we call a clue! We soon realize that there is water just a short distance away. You cannot see it, but the tree’s roots, hidden below the surface, have found and tapped into the refreshing and life-giving water of that running stream.
We are in a figurative season of intense heat and drought. These are indeed difficult times that test a man’s soul. The temptation may be to withdraw into ourselves. To go into survival mode. Some may attempt to pull themselves up by their proverbial bootstraps and muster up the strength and self determination to persevere. We may even try to busy ourselves with all kinds of projects and activities to help get us through this strange time.
But the Lord does not want us just to survive. Not now, nor during any other season of struggle in our lives. Regardless of our circumstances, no matter how seemingly difficult, when our roots are deeply planted in Him, we not only survive, we thrive! When our trust is in Him and Him alone, we need not be anxious during adversity. As we place our trust in Jesus, we draw life from Him. He is the Living Water, the source of life and strength and righteousness. His life is one that cleanses, refreshes, and gives us His supernatural ability to not just hang on, but produce the fruit of joy, contentment, perseverance, peace, and hope, all right in the middle of our season of adversity.
The fruit is evidence that we are deeply rooted in Christ, not only in biblical doctrine, but in humility and total dependence on Him. Our trust IS the Lord as the Psalmist aptly captures. This fruit is not just for us, but for the benefit of others, and to reflect Jesus to those we encounter.
So, my dear friends and brothers and sisters in Christ, let us not just “get by” and “get through” this pandemic. Heaven forbid we miss the opportunity to grow and flourish in our relationship with Christ! That is my joyful prayer for myself, my family and for each and every one of you!
Vero Bible Fellowship Elder Team