We all experience seasons in our life walk. Times of joy, times of despair, times of success, times of failure, times of brilliance, times of foolishness, times of hope, times of fear. However, unlike the seasons of spring, summer, autumn, and winter we rarely know what is around the corner; the joy or tragedy of our next step.
We saw that sudden swing last week as Valentine’s day ended in tragedy at a Florida school. I’m not proposing a preventative that would always work. Neither am I railing against some flaw in our system. Instead consider this, what if the season of our life changed radically as it did for those students, teachers, and parents? Am I ready? Are you?
The prophet Jeremiah held out two types of people. One type is those who trust in their own wisdom and strength to solve every problem and weather every storm. He wrote, “This is what the Lord says: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord. They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land.” In obvious poetic language, Jeremiah sees those who struggle on their own as shrubs barely holding on to existence in an inhospitable world.
Jeremiah goes on, “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.” (Jeremiah 17:5–8, NLT) There is a stark contrast between those struggling to survive and those thriving.
Notice that the keys are found in the words confidence and hope. Who you trust and where you place your hope matters. Are we putting our trust in our own wisdom, strength, ability, and talent? Or, are we putting our trust in Jesus?
Notice this. Jeremiah doesn’t promise a pleasant experience. The thriving tree planted by the waters still experienced seasons of heat and drought. The seasons of life go on. The difference is that one is satisfied with survival, the other thrives and bears fruit. Those that trust and hope in the Lord bear fruit in all the seasons of life.
My encouragement today is simple. Grow roots. Plant yourself by the streams of water flowing from God. Anchor your trust and hope in Him so that when the storms blow you won’t be uprooted. Grow roots in Christ so that when drought and scorching winds do come you will thrive and bless others with the fruit of trust and hope.