Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Tree Firmly Planted

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.
-Psalm 1:3

My mother's house has the most beautiful Willow tree you have ever seen. Its graceful, slender branches sweep the earth in the gentle breeze of summer. But the story of its beginning is quite a rocky one including once or twice being run over by my Father's tractor in the spring of its youth. Yet, this tree still grew far surpassing other trees they planted in their yard. 

The secret to it's success, or so my Mother says, is where it is planted. My parents live at the top of a hill (the backyard a perfect hill for sledding in the winter). This tree is planted almost perfectly in the middle of their hill and right above it lies a stream of water (ok, its a sewer drain - gross, I know) flowing right into the base of the tree. So because of where this tree happens to be planted it has flourished beautifully. What a happy accident. 

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. 
Jeremiah 17:8

Yesterday my devotional was called "The Fruit of Abiding". The focus was on "abiding" in His love and then you will bear fruit. You cannot will yourself to bear fruit. When you abide, when your focus is on the nourishing stream of water at your roots, as the Word of God is to our hearts, steadily you'll notice this "living water" traveling through you as the water does to the tree bringing the nutrients it desperately needs up the stump, through the branches, and to the very tip. But without proper water the tree becomes malnourished and physically weak. So weak it cannot even support its own weight. You've seen that tree (have you been that tree recently?). Let this verse from John 15 encourage you: 

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15:4-5