Trees Planted By Streams Of Water: How To Flourish By God’s Word
Blessed is the one[…] whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.
Imagine two trees. Before they both grew into mature trees, one seed flies through the air and then lands 30 yards away from flowing streams of water. Another seed flies through the same air, but that day the wind blew a different direction, landing the seed about two yards from the same river. Both trees’ roots begin to branch out. The trees sprout upward and begin their years of life. The first tree only receives water when it rains. It could be days or weeks before it gets it’s next drink. The other tree receives water constantly. Because it has sprouted by the river it’s water source is always available. Which tree do you think flourishes more? The second tree is sure to be green as often as the turning seasons allow.
Psalm 1 begins by comparing those who delight in the law of the Lord (the Bible) as like that blessed tree by the streams of water. While the two seeds in our story may have fallen where they did by happenstance, the moral of the story is that we plant ourselves wherever we are going to take root. We can choose consistent streams of nourishment or be left to whenever the rains come.
In ministry, I have heard this more times than I can count: “I think I need to take a few months break to get myself right before I can minister to others. I have nothing left to give.” While I do think it is admirable that my leaders recognize their spiritual deficit, their problem is not in time away. In two months, with no significant change, they will be as spiritually empty as they are today. The reason: we are the keepers of our own spiritual momentum.
Think about this: if your pastor helps to fill you up, who fills him up? Most certainly the best answer is that “God fills him up.” Yet, your pastor has most likely taken on a regiment of discipline by investing time in God’s Word that keeps him spiritually tuned up. In essence, your pastor has taken on his own responsibility for being “filled up.”
The further you get down the roads of ministry, the more you realize that you are responsible for your own spiritual conditioning. Initially, you can get away with just hearing one sermon on Sundays. As you mature that simply won’t be enough. You have to plant yourself by your own stream of constant flowing water. This is nonnegotiable.
You’re never too late to uproot and find a more constant streams of water. Rushing water never freezes. We aren’t trees, we are people. The answer is in our desire to know God better. To learn how to live by his Word. We can do this.
How are you planting by streams of water? We are blessed to have resources today to help us stay consistent everyday. Share with someone you love.