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Deep Roots and Fruit

Scripture Reading | Jeremiah 17:7-8

Happy are those who trust in the Lord, 
who rely on the Lord. 

They will be like trees 
planted by the streams, 
whose roots reach down to the water. 
They won’t fear drought when it comes; 
their leaves will remain green.
They won’t be stressed 
in the time of drought 
or fail to bear fruit.  

Reflections

Jeremiah’s words are incredibly relevant for our times. The is NOT a glowing promise that if you just trust in God, trouble will never come. What it promises is that when trouble comes, there is a way to continue to thrive.

Trusting in God is like a tree that has deep roots that reach down to places of nourishment that surface conditions cannot disrupt. We don’t live in a time that puts much value on depth. We are big on appearances and quick fixes. But this just leaves us with shallow roots that can’t sustain life when things get tough.

Jesus proposed a similar idea in his parable of the house built upon the sand and the house built upon the rock. That is, hearing the words of Jesus and putting them into practice provides a foundation that will survive rains and floods and wind. 

Going back to Jeremiah’s tree, when roots go deep, the branches remain green even when drought comes. In fact, in the worst of times, the tree is still fruitful. 

I don’t know about you, but I want to be able to thrive even when pandemics come, when finances are stretched thin, when national discourse turns sour, when injustice prevails. I want a faith that doesn’t get rattled when the world is shaking.  

The Psalmist makes an interesting claim:

The righteous will spring up like a palm tree. 
They will grow strong like a cedar of Lebanon. 
Those who have been replanted in the Lord’s house will spring up in the courtyards of our God. 

They will bear fruit even when old and gray; 
they will remain lush and fresh  (Psalm 92:12–14)

As we age and our bodies begin to show wear and tear, there is still a promise that we can thrive. Those who abide in the Lord’s house will keep bearing fruit. I love this promise. When we feel the weight of the world, we all need to hear this promise.

Questions:

  • How deep do your roots go?
  • What practices in your life might encourage deep roots?
  • What practices in your life keep your roots shallow?
  • What does it mean to rely on the Lord? 
  • Is there any area of your life where you have a hard time trusting God?

Prayer

Lord, sometimes I find it hard to trust. 
     I want to manage things myself. 
          I can be stubborn. 
               I can be short-sighted.

Give me grace today to release my grip and trust in you.
     Give me confidence in your provisions.
          Help my roots go deep.

Amen.

 

Reagan Waggoner - March 21, 2021

Jesus and Fruit

Scripture References: John 15:1-11

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