The Worry Tree
By Jill Briscoe
“He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. 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.” ~ Jeremiah 17:6-8
I love the picture of an anxious tree, wringing its twigs in frenzy! The Lord’s tree, planted by the river of life, is not a worry tree – even in a year of drought!
We had a staff retreat for our women’s work. About fifty dedicated ladies – or trees – attended. There were oaks and firs, rosebushes and holly, all sorts and sizes. But they all had one thing in common – their roots drank of the river.
Around the campfire at night, the ladies began to talk. I had thought I knew them well, but I had had no idea what a year of drought it had been for so many of my dear friends. One after another talked of the dry places of disease, of alcohol, of unemployment, of battering and abuse, of widowhood. One had a father who had committed suicide. Another had seen her daughter through an unwanted pregnancy. One faced divorce, another estrangement. It had indeed been a year of drought.
Yet, through it all, their leaves had been green – wet perhaps with tears of testing, but green! Those precious friends had not been anxious in the year of drought, and they had never failed to bear fruit. I couldn’t help thinking of Jeremiah.
They would be all right – after all, their roots were in the river!
Lord, thank You for Your river that never fails to renew and refresh my life! I know that in all seasons, in times of plenty when everything is going right, and in drought when I turn to You in despair, Your river will never run dry. Your comfort and guidance are always there. Amen.