In my quiet time this morning, I pondered a passage in Jeremiah, that speaks of a source available to all God's people that can provide us with unending joy regardless of our circumstances.
"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is in the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit." (Jer 17:7-8).
God is such a magnificent writer. What a picture He paints with words. But, unlike me, God does not write fiction. Here He paints a powerful picture filled with real-life promises. He tells of a source of happiness available to all of us, one that is as unending as the provision of water to a tree planted by a stream.
Trees planted away from a stream are dependent on rainfall for water. The upside for the tree is, it's an effortless exchange. The water just falls from the sky. The downside is, the rain comes when it comes; it is not a steady supply. If a tree were a person it would "fear when heat comes," and become extremely anxious "in the year of drought." It's level of joy, even its ability to have joy, is dependent on circumstances over which it has no control.
Not so, God tell us, for the tree planted by a stream. There is some effort involved. The tree must send out its roots by the stream. The parallel for this effort is us deciding to trust in the Lord, to deliberately put our trust in the Lord. But the reward is amazing. The promise is one of constant blessing and provision. A life lived without fear or dominated by anxiety.
So then, it is not our circumstances but where our hearts go in the midst of our circumstances that determines our true measure of happiness in life.
The appeal here, from God to us, is clear. It is God's personal invitation to a life free from fear. "Trust in Me. Put your trust in Me."