A Tree is a Tree is a Tree

I wonder if Jeremiah and David ever had a chuckle in heaven over the trees? Many years separated their individual appearances on the stage of history and although their roles were very different, the king and the prophet thought alike about some things (cross-pollination on the part of the Holy Spirit).

In my reading from Jeremiah this morning, I thought I could hear David's laughter.

"But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He 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" –Jeremiah 17:7, 8, NIV.

Sound familiar? Jeremiah almost had to ask permission of David's descendants to quote the psalmist's famous lines from Psalm 1. Of course, God holds the copyright so probably getting permission wasn't an issue.

For Jeremiah's audience, life was about to take a turn that would prove the validity of these words to their max. Jeremiah was a prophet of doom and gloom and these wonderful "tree" words come in the midst of one of those nasty pronouncements of disaster to come. 

In the days of disaster, "tree" quality is important and the quality of the tree depends on its source of nourishment. We have two Crabapple trees growing at the front of our church. No one is watering them or fertilizing them and the consequences are pretty obvious–they are looking extremely sad. But worse yet, whoever cuts the grass has run the weedwacker too close to the trees and stripped away the bark that protects them at their base. Unlike the tree described by both the psalmist and the prophet, these trees might not survive the day of disaster.

We all need to check our resources. What protects us from whatever we can define as our "day of disaster" doesn't come from within us. It may flow through us but it has its origin outside of us. The water of the Word infused by the Spirit will stand us in good stead when the heat in our lives gets intense.

The water of a stream is constant–unlike the water from the hose that never seems to get applied to the Crabapple trees in front of the church. There is a lesson there too. We need to be constantly receiving from God if we expect to have the resources we need when life takes one of those nasty turns.

Still, in the physical world, a hose isn't a bad thing and I feel a couple of trees calling out to me right now. See you later.

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