Living in a high desert plain of the Texas Panhandle, I became accustomed to a dry and barren landscape. A view dotted with gnarled mesquite trees with dwarfed leaves and rolling tumbleweeds. The plants languished in the hot sun and dry winds, sometimes withering from no water.
However, in spite of the desert, there was an oasis of green that clung to the rivers, springs, creeks, and water tanks. Rooted in a soil of life giving water, there were tall, flourishing upright trees with large green leaves defing the adversity of the environment.
Are these desert times?
Just like the tumbleweeds, we can feel like we are living in an emotional desert. Our desert of adversity is the unpredictable pandemic with school closings, sport bubbles, lost businesses, lost jobs, lost lives, raging wildfires, multiple hurricanes, tornadoes, record heat, racial injustice, riots, all the chaos of a presidential election…(There are many more!)
How can we flourish under such difficult circumstances? No one has ever lived through such a time as this. How are can we defy this adversity?
In Proverbs 24:10, “Did you fail in the day of adversity…”, the Hebrew word for fail can also mean to wither. As I reflect on the recent months I ask myself; Am I withering or defying the adversity through a flourishing life?
These circumstances were not anyone’s choice. We can not control the virus or the weather, but we can control our response! Will we choose to trust our human strength, or trust the divine provision of our Father in heaven?
Who are you trusting?
Jeremiah 17, points to the vitality of rooting ourselves in God’s faithfulness, highlights the importance of choosing who we should trust.
5 This is what the Lord says:
“A curse is placed on those who trust other people,
who depend on humans for strength,
who have stopped trusting the Lord.
6 They are like a bush in a desert
that grows in a land where no one lives,
a hot and dry land with bad soil.
They don’t know about the good things God can give.
7 “But the person who trusts in the Lord will be blessed.Jeremiah 17:5-8 NCV
The Lord will show him that he can be trusted.
8 He will be strong, like a tree planted near water that sends its roots by a stream.
It is not afraid when the days are hot;
its leaves are always green.
It does not worry in a year when no rain comes;
it always produces fruit.
Rooted in a Trustworthy God
How can we be like the long-living tree that grows tall, flourishing, and never fearing the circumstances of life? We need to be rooted in the reality of God, His truths, promises, presences, and grace-filled salvation.
So when we choose to seek the life-giving water of God’s love, we begin to know who God is and who we are in light of what He has done for us.
This profound understanding will lead to a faithful life of courage, compassion, service, and peace. Bible study is not just a box to check off your list. It is a nutrient for a life of hope!
God’s grace and the Holy Spirit, will guide us in understanding the power in His words. As we trust God’s power, we will live in confidence that our present circumstances are not an uncertainty for God.