Lord, I don’t want to do this again.
I glanced at my open Bible and read the Scripture verse in Jeremiah I’d committed to memorize the week before:
“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.” Jeremiah 17:7-8
As I memorized it, I had pictured a tall tree, its leafy branches hovering over the water, roots reaching for nourishment. The tree was laden with fruit, though everything else around it was burned and dry.
Now I sensed the heat coming my way. Hard decisions. Emotional uncertainty. Financial burdens.
With tears, I whispered the beautiful words over and over until they soaked into my heart: Blessed is the who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.
Maybe you are in a hard place today. Perhaps it’s a place you’ve encountered before and it’s the last place you wanted to be. I pray that Jeremiah’s words bring guidance to you, as they do to me.
First, Jeremiah reveals that we can be honest about how we feel.
Sometimes, in that hard place, we don’t give space to the feelings trapped in our hearts. We somehow believe that acknowledging our emotions is a lack of faith.
Jeremiah doesn’t paint a pretty picture with his words about what is taking place. Instead, he describes intense heat that withers everything around the tree. But He also points to a God who is close by. Our God knows what we are going through. He’s our safe place.
While we are being strong for others, He will be strong for you and me.
Second, we can run to the life-giving Source.
Hard places require wise choices. Hard places can make you feel empty. Yet there is a promise of refreshing that runs so deep that we are strengthened and nourished in spite of what is taking place.
Last, let’s settle into this promise found in today’s key verse: When we remain close to God in the hard places, there’s fruit. Because I’ve walked this path before, I know it to be true.
Fruit might come through joy that makes no sense in relation to circumstances. Fruit can spring forth in laughter that erupts where darkness wants to take hold.
Fruit is the very real promise of eternity. Fruit is planted inside of us as we hold tightly to a faith that is bigger than we are.
I really don’t want to be in this hard place, but I know what to do. I’m pushing my roots deep in my faith. I’m clinging closer to my God in the midst of drought. I’m even anticipating the fruit that will drop from my live as a result.
Today, let’s whisper it together. Let’s hold close to it in the hard place: Blessed is the who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.
Dear Jesus, today I intentionally walk to the water and I dip my roots in deep to find all that I need in this hard place. Thank You for being my Source. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.