“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
–Jeremiah 17:7-8, NIV
This past fall we all turned on the news to hear story after story of hurricanes. The news was full of images that broke my heart and made me cry out in prayer for the victims of these catastrophic events. One day as I watched a news story on the hurricanes, I noticed the palm trees bending from the gusts of destructive winds and something in my heart cried out, “Lord, my life feels like I’m a tree in a hurricane. Is it ever going to stop raining?”
As God often does with me, He brought to mind a memory long buried to give me comfort. One year in high school, every art student made and designed a miniature tree. We combined them together in an installation to make a “forest” in our school building. I’ve always loved to utilize my creativity to spend time with the Lord, even in my teenage years. I started praying and searched Scripture for a verse about trees. Surely, there would be something that would be perfect! I searched and searched to the point where I’m sure my sweet and ever patient art teacher wondered if my tree would ever be ready in time. I finally settled on Jeremiah 17:7-8. I remember being frustrated because it didn’t feel like a verse that spoke to me. I hadn’t weathered many storms. The Holy Spirit kept whispering to me to use the verse. So, I made my tree, added the verse as a title, and thought very little of it for almost a decade.
Fast forward to 2017. I was on year two of being a caretaker to my husband with chronic illness. I was weary, and I needed a word to help me know all of my efforts would make a difference. I came across the Jeremiah 17 verse in my quiet time with the Lord. It sounded so familiar, so I started looking through old Bibles, and there it was! Scrolled on the page of my high school Bible was a note to use it in my project. God had whispered this promise to me as a young woman, and, sitting at my kitchen table as a weary wife the words came to life. Through all of the trials I’ve faced since I wrote that verse as a naïve 17 year old, I’ve continued to cling to God when fear comes. He has helped me to stay strong in the storms of this life. My prayer for you, dear reader, is that you would be like a tree, planted by the refreshing Living Water that is Our Lord. He will be with you in all of life’s storms.