“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”
Jeremiah 17:7-10 English Standard Version (ESV)
A tree growing by the river always seems to be green in its season. Its leaves don't shake or tremble with fear as summer approaches and there is no rain. We don't know if it is anxious or worried because trees don't speak to us in words. We can only imagine that somehow the tree is trusting God for what it needs. Like we who trust in the Lord, the tree is blessed. It is God who sustains life and the opportunity for us and the tree to keep bearing fruit.
Unlike the tree, however, we each have hearts that can deceive us. Unlike the tree, we have vicious tongues and bad attitudes and obstinate pride. From our hearts can come greed and selfishness. I've never seen a tree push another tree out of the way to get a better spot by the river, have you? The trees just simply grow upward and closer together creating a forest. People are different. Ignoring God's Word, we allow our hearts to condemn us (1 John 3:20) and each other. One person judges another person but both people have deceitful and sick hearts. Like Jeremiah we ask "who can understand it"? God answers that question. It is the Lord who searches the heart and examines the mind for motive and intent. He gave us our hearts and He knows the condition of every heart. It is He who determines the quality of the fruit that comes from our hearts and selects the bad fruit to be discarded. He sent His Son to change our hearts and to show us how to bear only good fruit. He gave us this lesson in His Word about trees and the blessings we all receive when we trust in Him.
Like a tree by the river, let us stretch our arms to Heaven and pray with all our hearts for our roots to grow deeply in the Lord and learn to trust in Him.
By Joyce Kilmer
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.