Originally Posted 2/25/2010
Recently a friend of mine has been going through a tough time. It seems as if around every bend she is faced with another obstacle. While chatting with her I was reminded of a verse that I had come across last year. Jeremiah 17:8
“He will be like a tree planted by the water:
it sends its roots out toward a stream,
it doesn’t fear when heat comes,
and its foliage remains green.
It will not worry in a year of drought
or cease producing fruit.”
(Holman Christian Standard Bible)
I can picture this tree, standing tall and proud by the crook of a flowing stream. All life around it is barren and stark as the unforgiving sun bears down; but this tree is not just surviving….it is thriving! The lush grass around it is cool to the touch and shaded by the olive leaves which stand in stark contrast to the glorious blossoms scattered impulsively throughout. Mist floats up from the stream and a slight rainbow connects the tree and water.
When it seems as if I cannot handle one more thing thrown my way, I think of this tree and am reminded of God’s grace. I am grateful that I am that tree with its roots stretched out toward the life-giving water. I am thankful for God’s promise of never giving us more than we can handle; though there have been times when I doubted that.
There have been moments when the weight seemed too much and it felt as if at any second I would come crushing down under it, but I have to remember that with that promise comes the assurance that we will be able to handle it…not because we are that strong, but rather because He is. He is the stream that gives us life, that keeps us blooming in the midst of the drought. He will carry the weight, but first we have to stretch our roots towards Him and give Him our burdens. We have to realize that we cannot handle it (or fix it) on our own, His promise is dependant on our ability to trust Him.
I wish I could say that when times get tough I always remember that promise of peace, but I don’t. I know, though, that when I allow myself to become overwhelmed with the grief of the moment that is not His choice for me, but rather my own.