A Tale of Two Trees
"Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is (Jeremiah 17:7).

To borrow a few lines from a classic Dickens story: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness. It was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair."

The prophet Jeremiah would certainly agree. In his day, society was a study in contrast. The majority were morally decayed and spiritually stunted, the outgrowth of a godless culture. However, the faithful remnant were experiencing revival in the midst of national decline.

This disparity is seen in the prophet's picture of two trees. The unbelieving majority were like a "heath in the desert" (v. 6). Resembling the Dwarf Juniper, they were as Matthew Henry described, "a naked tree, a sorry shrub, the product of barren ground, useless and worthless." But there was a godly minority that spiritually prospered like "a tree planted by the waters" (v. 8). The happy result: they were stable, preserved, and fruitful.
Even in the worst of times, surrounded by fools with spirits chilled into despair, you can be God's paradox, flourishing by faith.

Dear Father, keep me rooted in your Word so that I may show others the secret of abounding in you. In Jesus' name, Amen.