Christ will not allow us to be uprooted

Published 12:22 am Monday, March 6, 2017

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seats 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 its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” — Psalm 1:1-3

As I took the mail out of the mailbox, I saw a strange looking envelope decorated with all sorts of trees on the front. Curious, I opened the envelope, discovering that I had been “randomly selected” to participate in a Mississippi Tree Survey. If I filled out the survey and paid $10, the company would send me a choice selection of 20 trees to plant in my yard! I first thought, “This is silly,” but then, “Well … I do need some new trees for the yard.” The next day, with the completed survey in hand, I stuck the envelope back in the mailbox, returning it to the tree company.

About two months later, I received a large, narrow box about four feet tall that was placed against our front door. Behold! My 20 trees had arrived – yet, they weren’t as grandiose as the Tree Company made them out to be. They didn’t have any leaves on them and only a few had branches scattered here and there. There were all sorts of planting instructions, pictures of what the trees would eventually look like, and so forth— but I knew at that moment it was going to take a while for these trees to grow.

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The following weekend I planted all 20 trees, scattering them throughout the front and backyard. My favorite trees became the red maple and the good ole “Georgia” peach tree. My excitement grew as all of the trees began to bud and blossom that spring. I became fixated on the peach tree, expecting to get a least one peach harvested from my labor! No peaches were to be found that summer.

Fall and winter went by and spring came again. This time, surely a peach would grow! Sure enough, that summer, a glistening peach began to grow. It grew to the size of a golf ball, starting to ripen in all its peachy glory! Every day I would water it, nurture it, maybe even compliment its growth and development out loud. Then one late July morning, everything changed! Something terrible had happened to my peach: A monstrous beast from the forest, a deer, had eaten it! Absolutely flabbergasted, I discovered fresh deer tracks around the tree. I couldn’t believe this mystery deer had decided to have a little peach nibble in our backyard!

I was devastated, but at the same time it was quite humorous. So much work and anticipation had gone into this peach tree, and just like that, the peach was gone!

How does all of this relate to Christians? The best news of all is that because of Jesus Christ, we will never be uprooted, we will never be waterless, we will never be eaten by a deer in the backyard. Those who live in His footsteps and follow Him no matter the cost are planted by streams of water, bear fruit, never wither, and in all that they do, will prosper, according to Jeremiah 29:11-13. We are going to face many trials along the way (James 1:1-12) — the world will do everything it can to see us fail, but we must run the race that is set before us, knowing that the reward is great — eternal life with Jesus Christ our Lord.

Because of the justification and adoption we have through Jesus, we can confidently and consistently, as Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

The Rev. Seth Duhs is pastor of New Covenant Presbyterian Church in Natchez.