Where is the fruit?
Scripture: “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8
It’s hard to not hear the comments and the social media trends that are continuously proclaiming the dire state of 2020. Any small thing will go wrong, maybe someone drops something, and they will immediately jokingly say, “it must be 2020!” All over social media you’ll see memes and jokes about 2020 and how it keeps getting worse. But can I tell you a little secret?
For me, 2020 has been an incredible year. Actually, I think it has been my favorite year yet. Jackson and I got our sweet little golden doodle puppy who has brought insane amounts of laughter and joy into our home. We have seen dreams we have had for both of our careers come to pass. We have built some really incredible friendships, and we enjoyed our time at home together as we focused inward and started to invite God to do the work in us that He had for this season. We’ve honestly been really genuinely happy all year, despite the turmoil in the world.
I don’t want to say this to bring attention to anything other than God. I don’t want to make anyone feel bad if they aren’t having a great year, but I do want to talk about the jokes we’ve all likely heard or been a part of making about 2020. (My personal favorite is, “has anyone tried lighting a fall candle to fix 2020?”)
When we are living in the kingdom of God, our lives should look different. We aren’t defined by the circumstances of the world, and when we are abiding in the Lord we can experience joy and fulfilling lives even when the circumstances of the world are chaotic. Reading through the Bible I often find how chaotic circumstances were then, and 2020 doesn’t even come close to comparing.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 says, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.”
When our trust is in the Lord, the outside circumstances don’t matter. When we are deeply rooted in a trusting relationship with the Father, it doesn’t affect us if the heat comes, or if it is a year of drought.
We will not cease to yield fruit. The promise in scripture is that we aren’t affected by outside circumstances no matter how crazy they are or how long they will go on for, because we are trusting in the source for life. In this passage the stream is God, our source for life, and that is unchanging whether it’s a good season or a bad season.
2020 memes and jokes can be funny, but personally, I don’t relate to them and I don’t want to. I relate to the tree planted by the water, certain in the source of life and unafraid about what is to come because I know no matter the circumstances, I’m still connected to the source. And when I see fruit in my life, I know the credit and glory goes to the source.
I hope this challenges you, and I’m going to be blunt for a minute here. If you don’t relate to that tree, and if you don’t see fruit in your life, you need to take a step back and look at your roots. Friend, where is your trust? Does your faith waver depending on the day? Do your circumstances determine your trust in God, or the health of your spiritual life?
What are you rooted in? Pick up the Word of God before you pick up your cell phone and scroll through the latest news on social media. Spend more time in prayer than you do telling people about the drama of your year. Praise God for what you have this year, even if it looks different than what you wanted. Spend more time thanking Him than you spend asking for something different.
When you’re rooted in God, you won’t be anxious and you won’t cease to yield fruit, even in drought.
And as we continue to yield fruit, God will get all of the glory as it becomes clear that something about our roots are different than those who are rooted in the world.
-Take an honest look at your life. Do you see fruit?
-What behaviors do you need to adjust to become more deeply rooted in God?
-What emotions or behaviors do you feel or notice when you become less rooted in God and in His Word?
Hey Father, thank you for being our constant source for life. Thank you for the promise in your Word that when rooted in you, we will not cease to bear fruit. Thank you for the fruit we see in our lives. Lord if we wander away from you, if our thoughts turn to anxiety or our emotions start to lead us astray this week, remind us of ways we can intentionally seek deeper roots in you. Amen.