“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.
In Genesis 12 God said to Abraham: “I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others.” And he was and still is today. We have been blessed to have the example of Abraham to live by. When we apply the Word of God to our own lives, we have learn from his mistakes and his successes. Abraham followed God with everything he had. At first he made excuses as to why he couldn’t do it. But God showed him how he could-with a little help. When God told Abraham to “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.” He was really transplanting Abraham to a new place. We see how Abraham trusted in God and placed his hope and confidence in the Lord and not in other things. In Abraham’s own transplanting he struggled, he grew, he blossomed and he helped to push an entire nation into their destiny. By placing his own hope in the Lord he helped plant seeds that grew into beautiful trees of faith.
In this verse from Jeremiah, the Hebrew word for “plant” is the word SHATHAL. It means to “transplant.”
In these past few weeks many of us have been busy digging and dividing and transplanting plants from our yards. We share plants with each other and I have plants in my yard from friends and family. It’s almost like a little bit of them is here with me and I am there with them.
In this passage from Jeremiah it says:
“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
with roots that reach deep into the water.
I see people as trees. Each person is a seed that has been planted in a fertile land. Your roots reach deep down into the Word of God. That Word is where the water is. God sends rain to water the earth. He makes the cracked, dry ground moist again. When the soil is moist, then things can grow.
There’s this little tree in the front yard of the church I pastor and it has been run over or hit many times, but because it’s roots are deep in the soil it has managed to stay in place, to thrive and to blossom.
Many of us are like this tree. We have been “ hit” or “run over” by things in life. We may feel bruised and battered for awhile-but with rest, comes renewal and healing. When we are grounded in God’s Word, we ARE like this little tree and over time we thrive and blossom and produce fruit.
Ephesians 3:14-19 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Here is a story that a friend wrote and shared with me…
“A planting of The Lord for display of his splendor”
Let me tell you a story of a bush. It was found in a crop of other beautiful bushes, but this one stood out. Her blooms were magnificent. But when she was planted, she was fine for a while, but then her blooms fell off. Fall and winter came and she went dormant. Then spring came with the promise to once again do what she was called to do, bloom. But something was wrong, she was trying her hardest to bloom but because of where she was, in the direct heat of the sun, her leaves began to burn.
She could not find shelter, feeling exposed and burnt out. All the while she hoped that she could move. If she could just get out of the sun, she could rest. While trying to protect herself, she was drawing water from the ground around her. But the neighboring plants seemed to be doing just fine. “What is wrong with me? Why can’t I thrive here? ” She asked The Lord.
One day her owner came to her with her Father. He was holding a shovel and fear pierced her. “No!” She thought. “Please don’t” she was grasping for air as the shovel came down and hit the ground around her. He continued to break the ground around her roots. ” oh, this is painful.” He gently proceeded to pull her out of the dry ground around her. “Where is the Father taking me?” She thought.
He lifted her up and carried her to another place. This place was filled with good soft ground that had rich soil. He placed her into the ground and put more good soil around her and her roots. Then they poured water over her. She had never felt so blessed. Her roots drank up so deeply.
She heard her owner pray a blessing over her, that she would live and not die. She immediately, relaxed and looked around her. She had never seen this side of the yard. See she was within a huge fence, right next to a pond. She remembered trying to reach the water, but the ground was so dry. But now she felt the shade of a tree. The plants around her were unfamiliar. But they were all healthy and vibrant. Would she too feel this way?
Fall and winter came and went and in that resting she was refreshed. She remembered her owner plucking off the dead leaves that were scorched by the sun. It was painful at first, but then she started to heal. She needed the rest so desperately.
Spring has come and she had never felt so alive. She had grown new leaves, her roots were so secure. What is the feeling coming from in this new place? ” She asked herself. She heard the Father say to her, ” this is where I have planted you. You are now rooted and established in Love, now do what you were created to do. “
With that she sensed something come over her. It was a feeling of love and safety and security. Her whole being was now saturated with the pretense of The Lord. Something then happened that was amazing. She let go then, and out of the letting go, she bloomed!( written by Tara Smith)
In order to thrive-sometimes we have to be transplanted to new “land” or a different place.
When we find that place of trust and we let go of everything we know and we totally rely on God’s Word –it is then that we bloom. Like a flower pushing it’s way out of it’s covering to reach the warmth and the sunlight- it never gives up. As we watch and wait day after day, we see the petals gently unfurl and reveal their tender beauty. We know that it was worth the move and the wait. All of our senses are thrown into motion-we can feel, see, hear, taste and smell the Presence of the Lord in the beauty of the bloom.
With every breath- we breathe Him in and let Him out…
Waiting and moving can be uncomfortable, it hurts, and things seem unfamiliar. The rest is necessary to the healing process. Transplanting takes energy and requires rest.
Each of us has been planted to display the glory of the Lord and it is in this time of resting that His glory is growing, budding and blossoming!
It’s been a long winter.
I see beauty everywhere. God’s creation is revealing His GLORY to the world!
Today I am thankful for the Lord who sends us out to new places and gives us rest for our journey. I am thankful for shovels, for Father’s who dig us up and move us and for those beautiful, flowing, tendrils of creamy soft smoothness that God has painted into our landscape and inside our hearts. He has revealed Himself to us and for this I am ever thankful…