Planted by streams of water

Once upon a time, I had a student in my first period class.  Okay, I had several students in that particular first period class; thankfully, there was only one Bud (not his real name).  I had a habit of locking my classroom door in the mornings I didn’t tutor before school in order to grab a few last moments to “prep” for the day without any interruptions.  I forgot to unlock my door one day and began presenting that day’s lesson.  Bud, a high school senior, attempted to unobtrusively sneak into class but was stopped by the locked door.  What happened next not only disrupted every classroom on my hallway, but created a memory I don’t think I’ll ever forget:

He banged on the door with both fists shouting, “LET ME IN!  I WANT TO LEARN!”

I shared my heart with my Lifegroup sisters recently about my desire to not just exist, but to Live. I don’t believe I, or anyone, is called to live a lifeless routine of working and sleeping. And yet, this is exactly what I’ve been doing.

My heart’s desire is to move beyond existing to living.  We talked about what it means to live and then discussed Casting Crowns’ song, “Thrive” and what it means to thrive.  I don’t know why, but I didn’t have a clear grasp of what the word, thrive, meant.  After arriving home, I cracked open my digital dictionary and noted the definition: to prosper and flourish; to grow; to develop well.

While the dictionary definition shed some insight, I knew … just KNEW … there was more so I checked out the “story behind the song” to dig deeper to find it’s scriptural foundation.  I am thankful I did!

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.  He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for it’s leaves remain green, and it is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit. – Jeremiah 17:7-8 (ESV)

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.  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. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away.  Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction. – Psalm 1 (NIV)

[emphasis mine]

I want to be like that!  To be like a tree planted by streams of water, my roots digging deep and drinking continually from the everlasting water of God’s Word!

The result of all this digging and drinking? Reaching out!  That’s the other desire of my heart: to share Christ with my community … my neighborhood, my colleagues.  To “be there,” to be an encourager. I believe the Lord is confirming some things for me and I’m excited!  For now, I’ll keep drinking deeply from the Word.  I can’t wait to see what He’s got in store for me!

Bud has long since graduated and moved on with his life.  His declaration, altered slightly, is now my fervent plea:

I WANT TO THRIVE!

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