Two Trees

Jeremiah 17:5-8 describes the fate of two kinds of people, depicted as two kinds of trees:

"Thus says the LORD: "Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.

“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.”

These two people are different in two ways but alike in one way. They're different in what they trust in. One trusts in himself. The other trusts in the Lord. 

They're different in what happens to them. The one who trusts in himself is like the dry "shrub in the desert," a tumbleweed blowing across a desolate ghost town in an old Western movie. But the one who trusts in the Lord is a green, flourishing, deeply rooted tree reaching up to the sky. 

But each person is alike in one very important way. The heat comes on both of them. Each one experiences suffering. Neither is a stranger to disappointment and frustration.

But only one, the one who trusts in the Lord, has nothing to fear from the heat. He trusts in the Lord like a tree digging its roots to the stream.

Suffering will come your way no matter who you are. But it doesn't have to dry you up. Trust in the Lord Jesus. He's a fountain of mercy whose water "will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

Jon Lauriat