I woke up this morning in not so good of a mood.
First off, I had a strange and disturbing dream that involved watching people run through a field, get separated, and captured by a mad man.
Second, I just wasn’t feeling really excited about life. I’m in the middle of a week full of meetings and training. I have a never ending to do list that includes items for work, family, and ministry. It’s car inspection time. It’s that part of winter where it feels like the snow, ice, and cold will never go away. This is not really the high point of my year.
I was, however, encouraged once I lethargically rolled over, opened my Bible app on my phone, and sleepily scrolled to my devotional content for today. The reading came from Jeremiah 17.
Imagine that: encouraged by the “Weeping Prophet.” (My friends will tell you that I have an unhealthy preoccupation with not becoming like Jeremiah, one of the most powerful yet chronically depressed and unceasingly lonely figures in scripture.)
This particular passage reminds us to trust in God, not in man. It says that if we trust man (including ourselves), we’ll be like little dying shrubs in the desert (the real desert, not a Vegas resort), but if we put our trust in God, we’ll be like a healthy tree planted by a stream.
I realized, I sometimes put my trust in myself to make my life better. If I don’t live up to my expectations, or if times get hard, I whither like that tree in the desert. My hope and my confidence must be in God, so that I, like the tree planted by the stream, will “not fear when the heat comes, for [my] leaves remain green” (verse 8).
I’m sure that “heat” can apply to an arctic blast and the demands of a busy life.