Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Sycamore

The old sycamore leans precariously over the creek, its top branches reaching far across to the other side of the meandering four-foot-wide stream. The root system, partially exposed, clings tenaciously to the bank of the stream, like fingers clawing into the soil, desperate for a hold in the earth, lest the white-barked tree topple. The gnarled finger-like roots reach deep into the soil, drawing up water. The life-giving water courses through the tree’s circulatory system, sustaining its vigor.

Like the tree, all living organisms require water for life. Without it, plants quickly shrivel and turn brown. Humans require water every day to stay healthy. Dehydration causes a wide range of problems, from dry, cracked skin to hallucinations and seizures. Without water, a human will die in a matter of days.

Jesus said, “I am the living water.” Of course, He referred to spiritual water, not physical. What happens to our souls when they don’t receive frequent spiritual nourishment? Without God’s living water, we perceive the world through earthly eyes. Our connections with God shrivel and the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control, no longer thrive. In order to thrive spiritually, we must, like the gnarled roots of the old sycamore tree, cling to the spirit that nourishes our souls, drawing deeply from God’s living water.

Father, give me a thirst for your living water and teach me to drink deeply, and often.

Jeremiah 17:8 “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.”

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