Lessons From My Front Yard
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the lord.” Jeremiah 17:5-7 NKJV
Where I live we have a creek that runs through our front yard. On the edge of that creek, there is a mammoth maple tree. It is huge and must be ancient, yet every year it is lush, full and green. Full of life! It reminds me of what God says to us through the Prophet Jeremiah. In the 17th chapter we read:
5“Thus says the Lord: Cursed is the man who trusts in man, and makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the Lord. 6 For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes, But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, In a salt land which is not inhabited. 7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord”.
So many times we feel like we are alone and isolated from God. We feel dryness in areas of our life, be it spiritual, emotional or physical. We feel like a bush out in the arid and dry places when we would rather be the tree that is by the river. The good news is that we can be that tree. These verses are telling us that we have a choice to make and we make that choice daily by where we place our trust. It is not enough to simply state that as a believer I trust God; we have to truly believe that He will deliver us from any situation we find ourselves in. We have to believe and put action to those beliefs. We give lip service, but how much do we trust Him?
Jeremiah tells us that if we are put our trust in man or the strength of the flesh, we are going to wind up like that bush in the dry, salty wilderness. In fact, if you find yourself feeling that way about some element of your life it should probably be an indicator to you that it is time to examine where you are placing your trust. We look to men in so many ways when God wants us to turn our faces to Him. By way of example, we may say that we trust God for our finances, but if we are looking to loans from institutions, friends, and family, or even believing in our government to provide for us, then we are trusting in the strength of man, the strength of flesh, instead of God. The result is inevitable; we are going to find ourselves in the dry places.
Now, let’s get back to that tree in front yard. It is planted right by the creek and has water all the time. The roots of that tree can be seen woven through the creek bed and even across the creek. These are massive and strong roots, in some cases as large as my torso. They are strong because of the constant water. That is what the Lord speaks to us through Jeremiah. If we choose to place all of our trust in Him and not in self, or the strength of men, we will be that tree. In our lives, we can always be strong, flourishing and prosperous, even in the seasons of drought. If you do not feel like that tree represents your life, then maybe it is a time to examine your choices. You may be trusting flesh instead of the Lord. The important thing is to realize that we can always make the adjustment and move from the arid place to the position by the river.
J Todd Hostetler