“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.” Psalm 1:1-3
It’s spring again (Thank you Jesus!!), and this time of year always makes me highly aware of everything alive and growing around me. Here in Tennessee, flowers are blooming on the trees. Bright pink and white buds are showing off, getting ready to grow into thriving green leaves. It’s been an incredibly rainy few weeks, so I’m hopeful that the water that’s soaked into the ground will keep things fresh and thriving all spring and summer long.
And just like I start to notice the trees growing all around me, spring is a time where I often turn inward and reflect on my own “fruitfulness”.
As spring bursts forth and I’m surrounded by vibrant, colorful life, I find myself asking some interesting questions: What kind of “leaves” am I producing in my life these days? Am I dried up at the source or am I growing, thriving, and providing shade (i.e., caring for) others?
God is really clear in Psalm 1 that where we choose to plant ourselves will lead to the fruit we produce in our lives. If I root myself in paths and behaviors that aren’t good for me, I will reap a withered, sad fruit. If I plant myself closer to God, if I delight myself in him and find time to dig into His Word, I will find myself well-watered, producing the kind of fruit I hope to find.
When I find myself struggling and feeling “dry” it’s often because I’ve gotten myself trapped in a cycle of Media - Anxiety - Hustle. These are the things for me that keep me far from God, that bog down my days and leave me rattled, strung out, and lacking anything to give to anyone (including myself). It seems easier to stay here, but the truth is that it’s not.
It’s only when I uproot myself from this cycle and replant myself closer to God that I start to feel better, more like myself. I trade my Media - Anxiety - Hustle cycle for Scripture - Prayer - Sabbath, and then I’m able to slow down enough to connect with God, assess the state of my soul, and enjoy the goodness of my life as I rest.
I want to be “rooted and established in love” as Ephesians 3:17 says, but I will never get there if I am constantly running, hustling, or numbing myself to God’s love and presence in my life.
Whatever cycle we find ourselves in today, we have the opportunity to stop, assess, and make a change. Coming to a place where we find ourselves rooted in God may take time, but a few baby steps can lead to powerful transformation. And my prayer is that as we turn towards a better was of staying close to God, we are able to bear fruit that not only brings God glory and our own lives good, but that also brings goodness and healing to everyone around us.