**THIS IS AN ENCORE DEVO, FIRST PUBLISHED ON MARCH 11, 2007**
"Only You can stand beside me through all my thoughts and deeds
You raised the might Redwood from the seed
Only You formed the mountains that stretch to the sky
Cover them with moonlight tonight
I know it in my heart to be true
The answer to me is only You"
Only You by Peter Mayer & Jim Mayer
Every once in a while you see a tree growing out of the rocks. It's amazing that anything can survive in such a seemingly harsh climate and terrain. Yet, a tree grows among all the sand, rocks and beautiful formations. I don't know how the tree got to be where it is. Maybe a bird was carrying a seed and dropped it in a particular spot. Or perhaps the wind blew a seed to that location. Obviously the location and situation was just right for something to take root and grow. It boggles the mind.
People are a lot like plants. Sometimes people grow and flourish in the most difficult situations. At other times even though the soil, drainage, lighting and nutritional input is exactly what the horticulturalist ordered, nothing or more appropriate no one seems to blossom and grow.
The tendrils of the roots seek out h2o and receive nourishment. I'm thinking about young people whose witness brings their parents to church. I'm giving thanks for grandparents, aunts and uncles, neighbors who give a ride to friends so they can come to church. I rejoice in people who are "connectors" so that Living Water flows to those who are thirsty for something real to drink.
Today's First lesson from Isaiah offers an invitation:
"Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price." (Isaiah 55:1) "I know it in my heart to be trueThe answer to me is only You"
So, one of the things to reflect on this Lent is "where are you planted." And the following passage from Jeremiah seems to suggest that where one is "planted" is somewhat conditional on where or what or in whom one places trust.
I'm trusting that you are growing in your trust of God.
"Thus says the LORD: Cursed are those who trust in mere mortals and make mere flesh their strength, whose hearts turn away from the LORD.6They shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when relief comes. They shall live in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.7Blessed are those who trust in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD.8They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit." Jeremiah 17
Shall we gather at the river?