Blessed is the man [whose] delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yield its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” (Psalm 1)
What a great image for our lives.
Planted. I think first of the roots. A deep web of tentacles beneath the surface of the earth. Here, in in hidden places, the tree drinks the stream’s waters. Here the tree is nourished. Here the tree is stabilized life above the surface- heat, storms, winter.
Every Christian needs a deep, hidden life with God.
By streams of water. This is God. Life-giving water. What we thirst, hunger, and yearn for. A thriving tree drinks deep and often of the streams’ waters. A stream is not like the rain. It is not whimsical and unpredictable. It is constant and readily available. This tree is never in want. The streams’ waters are never lacking.
Which yield its fruit in season. Anyone who has a fruit tree in their backyard knows how much fruit tree produces- a plethora of fruit. So much fruit a household cannot possibly eat it all. It must be shared. Given freely to family, friends, neighbors, and strangers.
All this, though, comes in season. Fruit is the end result. It is the reward for years of planting, cultivating, and growing. It is the reward for roots that have grown deep into the earth. And it is seasonal. Constant each year, but not continual without rest.
Whose leaf does not whither. Leaves. Strong enough to cling to a tree during a hurricane, and fragile enough to be torn by a child. Leaves which drink poison from the world, and breathe out life.
What better image is there for the Christian? A leaf. Absorbing poison, producing life. Strong, yet vulnerable.
May you be like a tree planted by streams of water. May you bear fruit in season. And may your leaves not whither.