Make Like a Tree and Leaf

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Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his 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
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither
In all that he does, he prospers.
Psalm 1:1-3

Last week, my wife and I put mulch around our landscaping. Gardening is not something I delight in, but I do want our yard to look nice. Fresh mulch seems to add a nice contrast to make the plants stand out.

However, no sooner had we put the mulch down, than we saw it speckled with small, dried up, tan leaves. It appears that the tree at the front corner of the house was not getting enough water through the recent unseasonably warm and prolonged dry spell. Unfortunately, we cannot reverse the problem by saturating the ground around the tree with gallons of water. The tree needed regular watering earlier in the dry spell to keep the leaves from withering.

That tree is a good illustration of what our lives can become if we neglect the word of God. We manage to survive from week to week until there is some crisis. When our lives start to fall apart, we blow the dust off of our Bibles and look for a verse that will restore whatever it is that has withered. That is not how the Christian life is to be lived.

Trees yield their fruit in season, when they receive sufficient water on a regular basis. So to be fruitful, the Christian must be saturating his mind with the word of God on a consistent basis. When things heat up, he will not wither because he draws from the internalized truths that have been his daily delight.

Living life under the influence of God’s word ensures prosperity. That does not mean the believer will necessarily succeed in every task or that he will have health and wealth, but he will have the riches of God’s blessing in both tangible and intangible ways. In addition, he will be fruitful. The life giving virtue of God’s word will not only sustain him, but also enable him to encourage those around him. Blessed is the man who bears the fruit of a heart and mind permeated with God’s word. And blessed are those who enjoy the shade of that tree.