Thursday, October 6, 2016

Droughts and deep roots

Droughts and deep roots

“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so,
But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the wicked will perish.”
Psalm 1:1-6

After many days of heat, and several weeks without any rain, we are in a drought. The earth is baked and cracked, the local ponds are about a foot lower than usual, the grass is as brown as if it were winter, and the leaves on many plants and trees are withering and dropping.

Today, as I inspected the garden, I saw these two plants. I planted both of them, the maple in the sun and the hydrangea in the shade. The maple is mature and deeply-rooted and is withstanding the searing drought very well. The hydrangea is a shallow-rooted plant that is visibly suffering, even in the shade. Without intervention, it will give up and drop its leaves.

What a picture of the contrast between those who have spent time in the Word of God and with Him, and those who have not. Those nourished by the Word have deep roots and do not wither but, produce fruit. Others do not rely on the Word of God, but on counsel of the wicked. They will be blown away like chaff and will perish.

Another picture of the power of the Word from the parable of the sower in Matthew 13.  You will remember that seed was sown with differing results. Some fell among rocks, some were eaten by birds, some fell among thorns and others rooted and yielded a good crop. Those sown by the rocks did not take root “when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.”  Jesus explained the parable;  “The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.”

How is the Word in your life? 
Is It a constant source of nourishment that establishes your roots in Him or, is It something you turn to now and then as the need arises? What does that tell you about your roots? What can you expect when the difficulties come? What is the solution? The only solution is being firmly planted by the Word in order to be nourished and thrive. Merely dipping your toes in It now and then will not be the same as being firmly planted, and depending on It for constant nourishment, and building strong and healthy roots that will hold you when the hard times come.

Dear Father in heaven,
How thankful I am for Your Word. It has been such a source of strength for me and for so many others. I pray today for those who are drawn to You and Your Word. I pray You will give them renewed strength and they will realize their need to remain by You. I trust You to give them just what they need to flourish and produce fruit today.

I pray for those who have only dipped their toes into Your Word and are withering. Give them strength and encouragement to come back for more.

I pray for those around whom the birds are circling, ready to snatch them away. I pray You will make Yourself known to them today in a real and fresh way that they too will look to You.

Your Word is indeed a blessing, and I delight in It! Thank You for providing such a stream of living water in this dark and dry land!

I pray these things in the precious name of Jesus, my Savior.
Amen.

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