The Lord says, “Cursed is the man who trusts in man, who trusts in the flesh for his strength, and whose heart turns away from the Lord. For he will be like a bush in the desert and will not see when good comes. He will live in dry wastes in the desert, in a land of salt where no other people live. Good will come to the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is in the Lord. He will be like a tree planted by the water, that sends out its roots by the river. It will not be afraid when the heat comes but its leaves will be green. It will not be troubled in a dry year, or stop giving fruit. (Jeremiah 17:5-8)
If you have had a 'dry year' thus far, maybe you are not feeling like 'celebrating' what this year has brought into your life thus far. You may not exactly feel overjoyed by the 'dryness' of the season you are experiencing but let me assure you of this - you are planted in the right place to endure the dryness if you have roots deeply planted in Jesus. WHERE, WHEN, and HOW we place our trust in hard, dry times is equally as important as WHO we place that trust in. The 'who' is Jesus - on that we hopefully agree. The 'where' and 'when' come long before the dry times, though. We don't experience dry times and THEN decide to follow closely to Jesus - we follow in both the good and the bad, the easy and the hard.
How do we know we are trusting in Jesus as we should? I think we are given a pretty big 'hint' in this passage. When we place our trust in 'man' - in the flesh - we are going to be rooted in some pretty uncertain ground. What does this look like in our daily life? It might be that we find little to no time to actually bring our day before God for his direction and wisdom over the matters that will come our way that day. It could resemble us hearing, but then choosing to do it our 'own way' because it is 'easier', 'quicker', or 'less complicated'. It could also take on the appearance of us always turning to another to look for the answers instead of taking time to seek them out in scripture, times of prayer, or quiet introspection before God.
HOW we trust is important because if we choose to put our faith in man or man's strength and ability alone, we are sure to face the 'dry times' without the necessary rooting to survive well. We may 'make it through', but will we be bearing fruit in the end? Not likely. Dry times come - it is part of life. HOW we prepare for those seasons is up to us. We can choose to dig in and be solidly rooted in Christ, or we can stubbornly choose to live our own lives apart from his wisdom and guidance. The latter is a bit too risky for me and I hope it is for you, as well. Roots are established before the storm, but their importance may not be revealed without the storm. Just sayin!
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