I delivered this devotional at this past week’s Christian Marketplace Network meeting.
What were you doing a year ago?
I was walking through my neighborhood, amazed at the damage caused by those incredible winds from Hurricane Ike. Our house was lucky, but other houses on my street looked like, well, like they had just been through a hurricane. My parents lost nearly 30 other trees on their property.
Photo: Spring Grove Cemetery after the windstorm by elycefeliz
Before the winds came, I could not have told you which trees would fall and which would stand. The Bible often uses this image of wind as a test that reveals our relationship with God. A person might appear to be strong and mighty, but when the winds come, we find out what theyâ€™re really made off.
Psalm 1 says that a righteous person is â€œlike a tree planted by streams of water.â€ â€œWhatever he does prospers,â€ writes the psalmist.
Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.
What distinguishes the righteous from the wicked? Why does one stand and prosper, while the other one blows away? The Arbor Doctor could tell you what you need to prepare your trees for a long and healthy life. This psalm tells us how to prepare ourselves. The righteous person loves the word of God. Verse 2 tells us:
â€¦his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
This Hebrew word “law” â€“ torah â€“ isnâ€™t just a list of rules that God wants us to obey. Itâ€™s more like the teaching that we receive from a parent or a good mentor. The righteous person listens to that teaching, day after day.
Godâ€™s word is the food, water, and fertilizer we need to grow deep roots. None of us can predict when trials will come, but they will always come.
By spending time with God, though, and filling ourselves with his word, we prepare ourselves to stand firm on that day of trial.