Jeremiah 17:7-8: “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They 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.”

Trees have always fascinated me. When I was a little girl, I painted a big tree on my bedroom wall. Next, I attached a hook on top of my painting, and on that hook I hung my guitar. Hanging a guitar on a painted tree has a curious effect. It’s basically mixing a two-dimensional painting with 3-D reality. Later in life I did it again, when I painted a tree on our backyard fence planting flowers right in front of it. My husband and I called it our “fence tree”.

Painted trees on fence and bedroom wall remind me of the nature of our hopes and dreams. Our dreams come two-dimensional at first. They take shape in our hearts and can be as defined as a good painting. Dreams turn into three-dimensional reality when we start acting upon it. We often call this action a leap of faith – and leaping we must when the time comes; life poses a variety of challenges that require faith.

Walking with the Lord, we experience peace, regardless the circumstances. In agricultural terms, we thrive under His care, even in the driest desert conditions. – Speaking of thriving in the desert, the people of Israel had wandered the Sinai desert for decades after their exodus from Egyptian slavery. A contemporary named Balaam took a good look at their vast campsite as the young nation was in the trenches, preparing to claim the territory east of the Mediterranean Sea. He prophesied over them saying (Numbers 24:6-7):

“How beautiful are your tents, Jacob,
    your dwelling places, Israel!

Like valleys they spread out,
    like gardens beside a river,
like aloes planted by the Lord,
    like cedars beside the waters.
Water will flow from their buckets;
    their seed will have abundant water.”

Rooted in the Lord, nothing is impossible. The Prophet Jeremiah compared a believer to a fruit-producing tree that is undeterred by drought. We thrive like trees planted alongside a river, a river that never runs dry.