Being a fruitful tree in every season

[notice] A fortnightly column by Anna Heydenrych.[/notice]

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree, planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.”  —  Psalm 1:1-3

In my household, my husband is the gardener. We don’t actually have a garden as we live in a flat, but we do however have an orchid, a succulent and two bonsai trees. It is to these four little houseplants that my husband attends with great care and little knowledge of the complex needs of the likes of orchids and bonsais. They all seem to be growing and prospering and we enjoy the touch of the outdoors that they bring to our home.

In Psalms Chapter 1, the man who meditates on the law of the Lord is likened to a tree, a prospering tree. Let us consider a few things about this tree.

– This tree is planted by streams of water
– It yields its fruit in the right season
– It does not wither

This man is prosperous in all he does and from the three points above, I get the impression that he has tapped into a life-giving source. The gardener attending to this tree has all the knowledge and wisdom needed in order to ensure successful growth, fruit and enduring health.

Now let us consider how he tapped into this source.

– He does not walk in the counsel of sinners
– He delights in the way of the Lord
– He meditates on the law day and night

I imagine a wise old man with a white beard sitting around in solitude, meditating day and night. But then I let my mind travel from the Old Testament to 2013. I think about how the world that I live in is filled with bad counsel, how sinners and scoffers have access to media streams which they are able to flood with messages which are in direct opposition to the word of God. I think about how easy it is for us as Christians to bend to the pressure of popular culture and to water down our truth.

I however would like to be like the prosperous, fruit-bearing tree – standing tall and strong in the midst of an unrighteous popular culture. I believe that in order to do this, I don’t have to disappear to a cave and meditate day and night. I do however need to set my mind to the things of God and relate them to everything in my life and my world. I need to stop listening to the voices all around me – voices that sometimes seem right and good and most often lead the most popular discourses of our day. I need to be prepared to go against the flow.


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