The following excerpt is taken from Puddles and Rubber Boots: 31 Days Toward Trusting God’s Promises, a devotional book by Jeannie Fritz. Purchase the book at the 2019 Penns Creek Camp bookstore.
Scripture Reading: Psalm 1
Promise from God: “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not whither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” (Psalm 1:3)
When my mom and dad married, they built a white brick house on the edge of a hayfield, at the corner of two intersecting roads. They envisioned huge trees sheltering their home, away from buffeting winds and prying eyes of curious passersby. My dad owned an excavating business, and he often did the site preparation for new homes. Sometimes large, full-grown trees would be cut down in preparation for a new building or road. My dad would “rescue” the evergreens—particularly the spruces—digging them up with his earthmoving machines and trucking them home to be transplanted. He would dig large holes in the yard, plop the trees in the holes, and soak the roots with the garden hose.
It became the job of my brother, sister, and me to keep the transplanted trees alive. We would dump brimming buckets of water on these trees—which usually towered above us at 7 or 8 feet. Some of the trees did not make it—their roots had been too severed, or we didn’t give them enough water. We would start to see the needles fall. I hated to watch a tree die—a slow and agonizing process. However, often the trees weathered the change—through hot summers—with gallons and gallons of water. My parents still live in their white brick house, but the landscape is changed. The house is no longer visible from the road because the surrounding spruce trees tower 40 and 50 feet into the sky.
Often, in life, we are like those transplanted spruce trees. Life brings many changes, often painful, and our roots are severed. We are transplanted to new situations; we face overwhelming learning curves and periods of adjustment. We sometimes think we will die of emotional and spiritual dehydration. We may thirst for an encouraging word or a refreshing rest. Sometimes when we experience bewildering change, we throw our hands up and say, “I just don’t think I can make it.” Satan tries to discourage and tempt us to despair. He whispers lies, “God has forgotten about you. God is not going to help you with this new situation. The problems are too big; God could help you, but He probably won’t.”
Psalm 1 makes some striking promises to those who pursue righteousness—those who are completely surrendered to God’s will through the times of transplanting. God not only promises the possibility of acclimation, He promises that “whatsoever” the righteous do “shall prosper.” What an elaborate promise, an extravagant guarantee, to grasp onto during the turbulence of change: “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not whither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (Psalm 1:3).
Purchase Puddles and Rubber Boots: 31 Days Toward Trusting God’s Promises on Amazon or at the 2019 Penns Creek Camp bookstore.