I have always appreciated the first three verses of Psalm 1 with its encouragement to take delight in and drink deeply of the law of the Lord, or perhaps we would interpret this for us today as the word of God. Then in verse three, this drawing and drinking deeply of the word of God is likened to being a tree planted by streams of water:
‘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.’
I was meditating on this again last week when I was away on retreat. I have always looked at flourishing trees and just thought how amazing it is that they stand tall and strong and their roots stretch wide and deep bringing them all the nourishment that they need. Apart from the basic knowledge of how this happens from school biology lessons, I had not thought much beyond that. However on Countryfile the other week (yes I confess to watching Countryfile) they were talking with a man who has developed technology which allowed him to listen to trees as they draw up the water from the earth. What was so staggering about this is that it is really noisy and sounded like a gushing waterfall, although technically I suppose it’s a ‘water-up’. So as I returned to ponder Psalm 1 again and you read of being likened to being like a tree planted by a stream and that the leaves do not wither, because we dwell on the word of God, it made me realise, that the tree works daily to achieve its fruitfulness and longevity and it works really hard to flourish in all its beauty.
So it made me ponder some questions:
Do I take my easy access to the word of God for granted?
Do I look at others flourishing and presume it ‘just happens for them’, when drawing on and dwelling in the word of God is hard work and a daily commitment?
If I have the river of God flowing in, around and through me, by His Holy Spirit, do I choose to draw from its richness or just hope something splashes over me and that will be enough?
How seriously do I take dwelling in the word of God that I may be fruitful in every season?
I find these questions challenging and so will continue to ponder them for some time to come.
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