Friday, March 23, 2018

Parched or Pretty

 A meditation on Jeremiah 17.

Thus says the Lord:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
and makes flesh his strength...

Hopeless is the woman...
... who demands her own way for happiness.
... who must rely upon her own comfort for peace.
... who depends upon the approval of others for her validation.
... who strives in her own energy to accomplish her goals and succeed.

 ... whose heart turns away from the Lord.

Doomed is she ...
... whose heart turns away from the Lord.
... whose mind is distracted by self-centered negativity.
... whose body is weary from restless busyness.
... whose soul searches for satisfaction apart from God.

He is like a shrub in the desert,
and shall not see any good come.

Her life is brittle and rigid,
rough and dry,
stiff, abrasive and empty.
She will bear no fruit.

 He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness,in an uninhabited salt land.

She'll continue to abide and seek sustenance from sources that ultimately cannot provide.
In futility, she'll give everything she has to a lifestyle that will render her
withered, waterless, and alone.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.

Happy is the woman...
... who denies herself to find joy.
... who relies upon her Heavenly Father for peace and comfort.
... who depends upon the truth of her adoption in Christ for her validation.
... who treasures her weaknesses - knowing God will accomplish His goals in His strength.

He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream ...

Her life is supple and secure,
resiliently grounded,
sensitive, sweet and strong,
refreshingly pleasant.
She'll continue to abide and seek sustenance from the One True Source of Life.

... and does not fear when heat comes ...

Even when the trials come, she doesn't worry.
When pain lingers,
and problems persist,
she is not ruined - she finds courage and hope.

...  for its leaves remain green,

For His Life flows through her.
She abides in Him. And He abides in Her.
His Word dwells richly within her and she keeps in step with His Spirit.

... and is not anxious in the year of drought,

So she has nothing to fear. No worries.
She puts no faith in circumstances.
She is patient and does not grow weary.

... for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

With passionate purpose, she'll give everything she has
to this beautifully sacrificial life that will render her
fertile, flourishing and fruitful.