"He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season." (Psalm 1.3)
It seems that in our daily lives, we often feel as though we are a log floating down a rushing river versus a tree planted by a stream of living water. We could probably list many things which intrude into our lives. I’m too busy, or there is not enough time in the day, or the daily needs just never stop, or I’m so tired. It seems as though a river is washing us downstream at a rapid pace, and we can’t do anything about it.
The Psalmist says in the first Psalm that life is different for those who meditate on the law of the Lord. Those who meditate on the law of the Lord are like trees planted beside a stream of water. The tree is solidly grounded, being fed by the stream. The tree bears fruit in its season. The tree is an evergreen always producing green leaves. It is firmly planted and is blessed. So also the person who feeds themselves with the word and law of God is firmly planted, bears fruit, and is blessed. This is our desire as Christians: that we are firmly planted and are not moved by the winds of time and the world, but it so happens that we are not always in this place.
Jesus gives us a different, parallel picture at the end of Matthew 11. Those who come to Jesus the Messiah, the word of God, will find rest for their souls. They will be like that tree planted by the stream of water being fed by the word and bearing good fruit.
So what are we to do when we feel overwhelmed by time and this world? We should learn to train ourselves to respond to this feeling by going to the word of God to be fed, meditating on it, and spending time in prayer with the Almighty God. It is here that we are fed and planted firmly. Our response should be to gather as a body and be fed by the word of God and worship the word of God. Herein lies our rest. True rest will not be found only in clearing your schedule or taking a long nap on Saturday. These may help, but a true, deeper rest is found as we plant our roots in the word of God, and as we are fed by the word of God, we develop and grow in our worship of him who is above all things.
--J. Andersen 4/8/16