A friend recently shared with me her feelings of fear and hopelessness surrounding the circumstances of her husband’s job situation. Barely scraping by and struggling to pay their bills, she wondered why God wasn’t providing a new job, better pay, or more understanding supervisors for her husband. She worried and cried and fought with the Lord. Though the details might vary slightly, I’m sure we can all relate one way or another.

On a rainy, dreary Wednesday morning God led me to Psalm 1 and Jeremiah 17:7-8 and immediately my thoughts drifted to this distressed friend. Both passages are similar, encouraging the reader that the blessed man is like a tree planted by streams of water. This tree has dug its roots deep into the rich, healthy soil and made sure it can drink deeply of the fresh water that flows nearby. The nature of such conditions promises constant growth and provision. “It does not fear when heat comes…it has no worries in a year of drought.” (Jer. 17:8) This does not imply that heat and drought are inevitable, but that the planted tree is secure and confident that it has what it needs to survive.

So it is with our lives. When we choose to put ourselves in a position to draw from the healthy soil and water of God, He gives life, sustenance, and provision according to His nature and character. We can stand firm in the hard times that will surely come, knowing our leaf will not wither because we are plugged into the life-sustaining power of One who knows every need we have. We must choose to believe His word and believe He will be faithful to do what He has promised. We must choose to stand on the confidence that comes from trusting His character, rather than rely on our emotions being tossed to and fro by extenuating circumstances. He promises that if we choose this path of wisdom and trust, “whatever [we do] prospers.” (Psalm 1:3)

The key is verse two: “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” This is where the truth of God’s word gets ingrained into our hearts and minds. Harsh elements throughout life threaten to beat us down and choke out His promises. Instead of thriving, we crumple into a hopeless heap of despair and doubt. Only when we continually draw from the truth in scripture and choose to believe its words will be like the blessed man “whose confidence is in Him.” (Jer. 17:7)

My friend’s circumstance hasn’t changed yet, but I pray she is less stressed and anxious knowing a powerful God who is true to His nature has her and her husband in the palm of His hand. And if she will lean into the life-giving stream and drink deeply of its waters, she’ll find blessings she never dreamed were there.

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