“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 17:7,8)
Oh, the joys of those who do not
follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord,
meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do. (Psalm 1:1-3)
These two passages are loaded with encouragement and insight. The authors know that our deepest desire as human beings is that our lives would flourish and be productive and meaningful, that we would leave the planet a little better than we found it. What is the secret to a rich life? Let’s look.
First, the authors paint a lovely word picture: both use the analogy of a tree planted along a riverbank. This teaches us that in order for us to grow and be strong, we need a Source of sustenance. What would the river represent? Jesus answered that question for us:
“Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.) (John 7:37-39)
So who are you going to drink with? Jesus invites us to come and drink with Him. He has the key to the kind of life that is described as fruitful – productive and meaningful. It’s simply a matter of taking Him at His Word, trusting Him always, hanging around Him, and saturating our souls in His Word.
You have taught me that I will only grow strong, tall, and fruitful in spirit if I am closely connected and intentionally linked to your Holy Spirit. Jesus made it possible for me to have 24/7 access to the Holy Spirit, and I intend to avail myself of his grace, his refreshing waters, his wisdom, his strength, his glory, his humor, his joy, and all the fruit and gifts He has made available. Holy Spirit, we shall from henceforth be the closest of friends, united in every way, for I am your student, I am your servant, I am your child, I am yours.