What happens when we trust in the Lord? When we truly put our hope and confidence in Him?
Jeremiah 17:7-8 gives us a beautiful analogy.
7 “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
8 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.”
Wow! How incredible! I would love my life to be like that! Let’s try to unpack this a little. It sure seems to sound great, but what could it really mean?
First, when we truly put our hope in the Lord, when we make Him our hope and confidence, we can enjoy life and provision. We can be like “trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water.” Planted along a riverbank. Not just hanging out, not just chilling nearby, not half-heartedly invested. Planted. With roots that reach deep into the water. Side note: I think it is also important to mention that trees do not grow deep reaching roots overnight. This is a process that takes time. Lots of it.
Now what is a riverbank good for? This is a place with an abundant supply of life-giving properties. A place that is literally flowing with life. A place that is moving and active. Not stagnant or stale or desolate. A place of provision.
Secondly, we will not be thrown off coarse by life’s circumstances. We will not be “bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought.” This is a very interesting assumption. The assumption that heat and long months of drought will come. Difficult circumstances are an inevitable and inescapable part of this world we live in. Just as much as heat and drought. The text doesn’t say that we will not experience heat or drought, it says we will not be bothered by these antagonistic elements.
How do heat and drought affect a tree? Depending on the harshness of the conditions, it can cause them to wither away if they do not have roots that “reach deep,” as mentioned in the previous verse. The same can be true for each of us. If we do not have deep trust, hope and confidence in the Lord, which again takes time, our faith can be shaken to the point of withering away.
Finally, what is the outcome of a deep-rooted trust, hope and confidence in the Lord? We show signs of life. Real life. Life that is healthy and filled with the gifts of the Spirit of God. The same way a tree shows signs of healthy life by its green leaves and producing of fruit, we will show signs of the fruit of the spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control will flow out of us.
Let us strive to be like these trees. Planted by the riverbank with roots that reach deep. Trees that remain unaffected by heat and drought. With green leaves and always producing fruit. May we put our trust in the Lord and make Him alone our hope and confidence.