“That person is like a tree planted by streams of water…”
During particular seasons of life, we may come to feel an unnerving cloud of instability and uneasiness hanging over us. A serious illness, a change in family configuration, loss of employment and other like crises can have that effect. Certainly, this pandemic has produced more than one of those clouds for almost all of us. Some of the stable footings of familiar social institutions and common routines of life are so much less predictable. All this has impacted our life as a body of Christ as well, especially obvious in our lack of gathering.
The poet in Psalm 1 describes a person who is ‘like a tree planted by streams of water.’ The image brings to mind a healthy, vibrant tree that is stable, secure and well-nourished. The contrasting image is that of chaff. At harvest in ancient times, grain was tossed in the air and the light-weight and useless chaff was easily blown away by the wind.
People longing to embrace stability can strive to follow the advice of Psalm 1. The reason for the tree’s firm security comes from its proximity to the streams of water, the source of nourishment. According to the poet, true nourishment comes from giving priority to God’s “law,” meaning the whole of God’s story and God’s Word.
People who want to be well-rooted and grounded, especially in times of challenge do well to not neglect looking to God, his story and word. It is their primary source of wisdom and understanding. As New Testament people, we know that God’s story and word are most evident in the person and ways of Jesus Christ.
What are you personally doing to stay close to the source of all true nourishment?
PRAYER ENCOURAGEMENT: Nourish us, O God. Help us to embrace our place in your Story and your Word with open and pliable hearts. In the name of Jesus Christ, AMEN.
Click on the link below to listen to the following song which uses another psalm (Psalm 42) and image to give expression to the universal need to look to God as our source of nourishment for life… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnIYWKfW74E