This is an article I plan to post to our church newsletter. I've been asked to contribute and this is new to me. To give you a little background so you understand the reference.... Tom is my husband and he was diagnosed 2 1/2 yrs ago with a painful neuromuscular disease. He participates on the WT.
Here is the article. Your feedback would be appreciated:
Jeremiah 17:7-8 (New International Version) 7 "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. 8 He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."
This is a wonderful passage! I don’t know about you but I love it. It fills me with hope and comfort. Over the last 2 ½ years many of you know that Tom and I have been through quite a trial with regard to Tom’s health. One that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. During that time there has been much opportunity for concern and fear but placing God in my focus has been a huge source of peace.
There is sacrifice in worship and one of those sacrifices is giving up your concerns and needs in order to focus our attention squarely on God. To put aside our “stuff” so to speak and enter into a time where God is the focal point. It sounds simple but when the bills are piling up, the doctors are telling you things are looking worse or your relationships are in turmoil it is hard to turn off the inner voice that churns around and around begging for answers.
It is exactly these things many of us want to bring to God when we come before Him. But it takes trust in God to let these things go. Worship does just that. It allows us to let it all go and simply focus on who He is. It gives us that mental respite from all our worries to simply sit at His feet, bask in his presence and know that He is God.
The imagery of the roots reaching down deep drinking water from the stream is especially comforting. The roots hold the tree in place and keep it anchored when strong winds blow. I envision that tree drinking the living water that allows it to withstand all the challenges that nature can hurl at it. Quite incidentally who controls the drought and the winds in the first place? So really what do we have to fear if our roots are firmly planted in the soil of faith?
So “it has no worries in a year of drought” because God is firmly in control. This leads to the final portion of the verse “and never fails to bear fruit”. Oh.. to be able to consistently bear fruit is such a human desire. Don’t we all want to bear fruit in our own way? However you define bearing fruit, I think we all want to leave a positive mark in our world in some way. God promises us that he will use us if we commit to Him.
In its simplest form, worship is placing God in the proper perspective in our daily lives. God is at the center of all that we do and all that we are. Everything we do and are can be for the glory of God. On a practical level this sounds pretty impossible but on a spiritual level it seems so needed. Personally, when I consider God’s omnipresence I find it a little easier to comprehend. God is with us all the time both physically and mentally.
Maintaining an awareness of his constant presence helps me relate to Him. It takes some practice but knowing God is right there with you at all times brings such comfort. Thank Him. Love Him. Find joy in Him. Praise Him whenever you can. Let your worship flow from there.
So as we move forward l pray our roots grow deeply in the soil of faith and we give God our attention as we move through our day keeping Him in our thoughts every step of the way. I pray that our Sunday worship is a unified and collective extension of our daily worship. “And let the peace of God rule in our hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.” Colossians 3:15