May 2021

Firmly Planted

Scores of houses are being constructed in our neighborhood, and consequently, we’ve witnessed the clearing and grading of land that appears to be the necessary precursor to the laying of foundations and the raising of dwellings. This neighborhood is expansive and actually several decades old, and while development has heretofore happened slowly and in short bursts of growth, in the current housing market there has been a sudden increased demand for new homes.

I must confess that it is painful to see the felling of so many ancient oak trees. Trees that have seen the turn of seasons year after year for a hundred years. Branches that have been the home of a myriad small animals and birds. Leaves that have done their part to keep the air oxygenated. There is a reason why Scripture refers to the people of God as “oaks of righteousness.” It’s an image the speaks of strength, stability, provision, and refreshing. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8 NKJV)

As I lean into this imagery, I am mindful that the yielding of fruit is for the provision of others and the seeding of other trees. Fruit is not for the tree to consume. As a member of the family of God, my role is ultimately about fulfilling the Father’s desire for the cultivation of His faithfulness and the thriving of His Kingdom. Being firmly planted in the Word of God, I am refreshed and nurtured by steams of living water. Being established in His love, I bear the fruit of His Spirit for the edification of the body of Christ.

So, while the dead trees provoke sorrow, there is consolation because families are moving in, bringing the prospect of new friendships, expanded community, and my sadness is now not without hope. The rhythm of life on planet Earth includes death and life, endings and beginnings. The end of some things must come, and I will let Him comfort me as the seasons change. I will press on toward all the new beginnings that God has ordered for me.

Heavenly Father, I thank you for the wisdom of Your plan. You have shown mercy and performed justly in all the Earth. You have caused me to thrive in the boundary lines You have set. There is freedom and liberty within Your walls, and I give You thanks for calling my name and making room for me at Your table. Surely, when Your eyes are on this child, Your grace abounds to me. I bless Your Holy name and pray humbly in Jesus’ name. Amen.

And thank you, dear reader, for continuing to be on the journey with me. We have so much to discover in the great adventure to which He has called us. We will be about the Father’s business, abounding in His grace, planted firmly in Christ. There will be storms, and there will be trials, but let us not be greatly moved. Let us not be shaken.

Until next week, beloved, stand firm and trust in the Lord.

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