"And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields it's fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers."
I have heard this verse alot but if you were to ask me awhile back what it ment to me, i would say something like "it means God wants to bless me" or something like that. Which isn't inaccurate, but not the whole truth either. I think that the way he phrases things here is for a deeper meaning.
Firmly planted - Are our roots deep or shallow? If you have ever seen a huge tree after a storm that has fallen over at the roots, it will help drive this home. In order for stability a tree has to have deep roots, it has to be anchored. If you continually move a tree/plant, it will not develop the deep roots necessary. Alot of times I don't like to go deep. I would rather live at the surface level and not talk about issues in my life, marriage or walk with God. Just go to church and get out. Let me take care of me and totally miss out on community and sharing life with others. In doing so I prevent my roots from going deep. I get dangerously close to being one of those trees that when a storm hits and the ground softens I topple over. So the question I have to ask, is am I letting my roots go deep? If I keep moving around and hopping churchs or organizations or friends, I am not letting myself take root. But i think it is also good to note that you can plant a tree in a bucket in a forrest and it still not be part of the forrest cause it stays in a bucket. I see this happen alot, people come but they stay in their buckets of busyness or comfort and don't join the forrest so to speak.
Streams of Water - What gives me life? Is there currently anything in our lives that give us life spiritually, emotionally? Or are you trying to exist in the desert of materialism and busyness wondering why you don't feel like you are thriving or why you are feeling dry and choked out? I do this alot. I neglect to place myself by nourishing streams because there is always some seemingly justifiable excuse not to do so, or because i am to prideful to admit that I ended up in a desert. So what streams bring life and how do we need to move towards those?
Which yields it's fruit in it's season - People have seasons. There are times when we experience the joy of new things like Spring, there are also times we deal with the reflective quiet of Winter. The danger is when we compare. So often we compare ourselves. We look at somebody and think that they are better at something, did you ever think that it is because they are in Spring and you are in Fall? We don't all change seasons at the same time, and seasons last different lengths of time for people. The other promise to see here as that fruit will and should come. If you are a believer fruit should happen in your life. Sometimes we try to stay in a season because it is comfortable because it is what we are used to and we don't make the changes necessary because they are scary or uncomfortable. I don't know how comfortable new growth is for a tree, but i do know that having a baby isn't very comfortable. Yet, if you don't go through the pain then life will not be created. Are we choosing to stay in Winter's chill because we don't want to go through the awkward maybe painful process that it would take to move to a fruitful Spring/Summer?
It's leaf does not wither - Leaves are an outward showing of how healthy a tree is. If they start to die, you can bet that tree isn't doing well. It's interesting that he talks about seasons and then says that the tree's leaf doesn't wither. I think the lesson here is that our life doesn't depend on circumstance. We can still possess life even when we go through hard times/difficult seasons. It has been said that being a Christian doesn't exempt you from trials, but it does give you the hope to persevere. It gives you life in the middle of the Winter.
Whatever he does he prospers - It is very easy to misread this. You can read it and think that whatever he does he doesn't fail and succeeds. However that is not what it says. I think that it means that even in failure/trial he prospers. Not necessarily meaning materialistically but also spiritually/emotionally. This guy is walking with God. He is living fully surrendered to God. So what he does is going to be of God. If this guy decides to become a drug dealer it doesn't mean that he will prosper, because this guy is walking with God and wouldn't become a drug dealer. We can tend to read this verse and use it as a banner to justify all kinds of actions and try to call down God's blessing. But the underlying theme here is that this guy has deep roots and is walking with God through good times and bad. So prosperity will not look the same as it does from the worldly standpoint. I believe it means a life full of rich fruitful meaning.
Thanks so much for reading.