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 17:8
But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. -Psalm 1:2-3
More often my heart reflects this:
In this season of newness and resolutions, I'm confronted with the reality that enforcing change upon myself is a impossible task. The changes I want to see for 2010 go deeper than losing weight, keeping a clean pantry, returning library books on time, getting up earlier or being a more intentional in relationships. Sure, I could implement systems to make those things happen, but true change happens from the inside out. Lasting change is the fruit of God's work in our lives- a daily pruning and the work of sanctification.
During college, God used a particular study (given to me by a wise pastor) when everything had fallen apart and God seemed very silent to me. I feared that my heart was growing hard, so hard that I would never be responsive to Him again. It was a severe crisis of faith and yet ended up being a watershed in my life as a believer.
Piece by piece I brought my brokeness before God and piece by piece He put me back together. It was a LONG process and quite painful at times. I had tried journaling all of my questions and feelings. I poured myself into service and private worship. These things were beneficial, no doubt, but was not until I began looking at my sin, not my circumstances, that I began to flourish again.
Recently, I was crying to Sean about something that broke my heart and asking for direction. He brought me this study, the one that I had not seen in years. He encouraged me to work through it and to pass it along. That's what he had done years ago when he gave it to our pastor.
In 2010 I'm resolved to work again through these pages. Taken from the text in Hosea 10:1:
"Sow for yourselves righteousness;
reap steadfast love;
break up your fallow ground,
for it is the time to seek the LORD,
that he may come and rain righteousness upon you."