Not a Stunted Shrub

July 28, 2010 — Leave a comment


Jeremiah 17:5 This is what the Lord says: 

“Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans,  who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord . 6 They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future.  They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land. 7 “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. 8 They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water.  Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit. 9 “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? 10 But I, the Lord , search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”


This passage stung me this morning and is very straight forward how passionate God is that we dial his number in prayer, and not send mass texts to our friends and family.  The imagery given give a grueling metaphor such as the shrub in the desert…. it’s empty and dry.   I love the other one like a tree planted by a river with deep roots.  He says those will be blessed!

Recently I visited the Black Hills of South Dakota and a friend and I were fascinated by some pine trees that were huge growing next to a river on a very steep slope.  He said that is mind-boggling that they aren’t leaning or that they have the strength to stay up like that!  Why?  The roots were so deep and so wide!  Plus it had all the nourishment of water being next to the river.  That tree has nothing to worry about!

Much like that we will continue to produce fruit and even when it seems like we are in the desert, are we really ever in a desert with God? I mean really as long as we are with him we always have hope and living water is so close.  This passage explains how wicked our hearts can be and reminds us the accountability involved as we will be rewarded according to our actions.


I recently spoke with my Dad on the phone and he was explaining someone who was trying to tell him the will of God for his own life.  He spent two hours exhaustively persuading him what he ought to be doing.  My Dad said something to me that resonated.  He told his friend, “Do you not think that I stand close enough to my own mail box to get my own mail?”

I believe in the gifts of a prophet as I’ve had people speak over my life.  I always quickly ask, “Lord does this match what you are already speaking to me about?”  or “Does this line up with scripture?”.  What was my Dad saying?  He spends time with his father and knows his father’s voice to be led and follow the direction God has.  He doesn’t rely on second-rate mail.

I want to be the tree that’s roots are abiding in God and connected to the vine, not the shrub desperately awaiting sprinkles of water from someone else.


Father you are my hope and my confidence.  Help me to walk closely to you and follow your leading each and every day.  I’m yours and I love you so much!  Let what others say only back up what you are already saying to me and not bring confusion.  I love you so much!  Amen



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