So I was at church earlier today, and one of the pastors was teaching out of this passage in Psalm 1. All of a sudden, an excerpt from Psalm 1:3 fairly leapt off the page at me:
The tree “yields its fruit in its season,” and we are to be like the tree. This passage tells me that – just like the weather seasons that we experience throughout the year – our lives are marked by seasons, too.
This was the very point that our teaching pastor was making, as well. However, it never occurred to me that our fruitfulness – that sense of God-given favor, productivity, and accomplishment – is also tied to these seasons.
I feel like I’ve been in a dry season for a long time. When you’re in that place, you really want to get out of it as quickly as possible. I now see that just like as winter can seem long to me (although, let’s be honest – I live in California – the most we get here is rain), a season nonetheless has a defined beginning and an end. It may not seem that way to me, but from God’s perspective, each phase of our lives is characterized by a distinct beginning and conclusion – spiritual “bookends” that He has carefully placed in our lives.
However, what is ironic about this passage is the fact that the tree’s leaves do not wither. What kind of tree is like that? This withering business is part of the natural rhythm of life – trees are green, and their leaves begin to die and fall, as the seasons change. Not so with this Psalm 1 tree, though.
The tree is marked by toughness and perseverance – it stays in rooted in place, drawing on the precious nutrients from the river bank, and eventually bearing its fruit at a specific time that God determines. In the meantime, its leaves paradoxically show no signs of decay or wear.
And we are to be like this tree.
I don’t know about you, but my leaves feel like they’re all over the place. And they’re not all green, either! However, I just need to remember that this is a season. It has a defined beginning, middle, and an end, and then things will change.
Not feeling particularly fruitful? The Bible says that our fruitfulness will become evident in time. Leaves feeling rather tired? The Bible says that even if we feel tired, we will not wither, so long as we are drawing our strength from the Lord. Note that the Bible doesn’t say that we won’t ever feel tired, but it does promise that we will be able to draw the strength that we need from God. I think it’s possible to feel tired, but still be strong in the Lord.
Interesting phenomena, these seasons.
Here is my prayer for today: Dear Lord, I want to thank You for the reminder that my life is characterized by seasons. While it may feel very long and bleak at times to me, help me to remember that it will end, and then my circumstances will change.
In the meantime, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, please allow my leaves to remain strong and well-nourished. Thanks also for the way that You speak so specifically through Your Word – this verse was incredibly timely. In Your name I pray, Amen.