Trees of The River

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“She shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever [she] does shall prosper. The ungodly are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore, the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.”

Psalm 1:3-5 (NKJV)

Far, far away in a land called Matunda lived two trees. One tree was called Mengi and the other Uksoefu. Each was diligent in their attempts to please the Great Gardener. Every morning and every evening Mengi would stretch her roots deep into the soil searching for access to the river they called, “Maji Milele.” Every morning and every evening she would drink of Maji Milele’s waters and feel the nutrients flow through her roots as the liquid moistened the soil around her trunk. Ascending into her branches she could feel the muscles of her stems strenghthening and the crisp but soft nature of her leaves greening.

The Fruit of Jealousy

This made Ukosefu very bitter. The Great Gardener told her and Mengi to dip their roots in the Maji Milele every morning and every evening, but there was no joy in that for her. Ukosefu wanted to be different. She wanted to stand out. She decided that she would stretch her roots down further into the soil, rather than over into the river. Everyone knows that there’s water in the soil as well, and so she would get her’s from a source other than the river. Surely the Great Gardener would be pleased with her initiative and creativity.

As Ukosefu reached further down she only became more frustrated and bitter. Her leaves did not grow strong like Mengi’s. Rather than possessing a crisp and soft nature her leaves had a crunch and hard nature to them. She quickly became jealous of Mengi complaing, “The Great Gardener is showering Mengi with special treatment. There’s no way she could grow that quickly from simply drinking of the Maji Milele.” In her frustration she remained stubborn and refused to drink of the same water source as Mengi, regardless of the fact that the Great Gardener directed so.

Comparison Kills

The full moon passed and it was time for the Great Gardener to collect his harvest. The trunk of Mengi was so large and the span of her branches so wide that she could be seen from anywhere in Matunda. When The Great Gardener stepped close to Mengi her leaves were a bright green and next to every leaf was a large, ripe fruit yellow in color with blushes of pink on its cheeks. Smooth and without indentation the Great Gardener knew of her ripeness just by the smell of her fruit. The Great Gardner could smell the fruit of Mengi from miles away.

The same was not so for Ukosefu. Her leaves were brown, burnt in color, and there was no fruit anywhere on her branches. Her trunk was narrow and it seemed as though her branches had not grown since the planting season. The wind would blow and the fruit of Mengi would decorate Matunda as ornaments. But when the wind blew on Ukosefu her leaves crumbled. The wind would blow and the trunk of Mengi would stand firm, unmovable. But when the wind blew on the trunk of Ukosefu it would bend and sway in whatever direction the wind drove.

The Word of God is Life

Ukosefu desired to stand out, and she did just that. For in Matunda, she was the only tree that did not bear fruit in season. But she was also the only tree to not drink of the river Maji Milele. And it was because of her stubbornness that she would be the only tree of Matunda to whither and die. This saddened the Great Gardener, for he could not understand how a tree that was positioned so close to her source of life could whither and die. He could not understand how this tree of the river could die of thirst.

Many of us are like Ukosefu. We have easy access to the river of God’s word and yet we seek life and strength from every other source we can find. We plug into people, our jobs, our passions, everything but God through prayer and devotion. But what we have to accept is that nothing on this Earth can feed us, fill us, strengthen us, or grow us like spending time in prayer and Bible Study. It is only when we’re planted in the life giving waters of God’s word that we can bear the fruit of the Spirit. May we drink from the river of God’s Word and live.

Read & Study: Psalm 1, Psalm 92:12-14, Jer. 17:7-8, John 4:13,14; 14:6; 15:1-8

When was the last time you sipped the words of Jesus Christ the living water? You have been placed in close proximity to the source that is your everlasting life. Don’t wither and die spiritually because you refuse to let Him flow through you to work in you.

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