Sometimes, I can be a little melodramatic. Just a little. Also, I have a tendency to over-exeggerate. Which I think makes me hilarious (right?) but can make me a small terror to live with. Recently I went into this tangent with John where I claimed that I was the worst wife ever. I used word like “always” and “never.” That’s a big no-no in a marriage. Absolute words like that. Not healthy. Now I’ll be honest (and hindsight’s 20/20) and tell you that my feelings of inadequacy are NOT John’s fault. He’s a wonderful, loving husband who goes out of his way to make sure I feel appreciated, goes out of his way to rave about my homemaking, and just generally praises his wife. He’s a really good husband. But sometimes, I dump all my feelings of inadequacy on his shoulders. I try to make it his fault.
And I can see why. Sometimes I look to John for fulfillment and lose sight of the Lord. Instead of depending on Christ to fulfill every need, including my heart needs, I rely on my husband. As wonderful, WONDERFUL as my sweet husband is, he cannot fulfill like Christ can. It says in Jeremiah 17:7-8
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.”
Jeremiah has spent the earlier part of this chapter talking about the hard hearts of Judah, and the punishment that is sure to come. He shares verses 7&8 as a contrast to the heart of the man who trusts in man. Jeremiah uses the picture of a shrub in the desert, to portray a man who does not trust in the Lord. Oh, but in verses 7&8, he talks about the blessing that awaits he who trusts in the Lord. He likens it to a tree planted by a stream.
Let me stop for a second and let’s think about this. I’m from the desert. There’s not a whole lot out there. It looks similar to any cartoon you have ever seen of the desert. Most of the time it’s brown and deadish-looking. Everything out there is just scraping by for survival. But if you ever get to visit the desert in bloom, you will remember it for the rest of your life. I can’t even begin to describe to you the colors. It happens during the rainy season, when the desert gets lots of water. The most intense pinks, yellows, reds. That’s what I think of when I read about the tree in Jeremiah. A strong, beautiful tree, that’s been given lots of water. It must look so healthy. It must bend and sigh gracefully in the wind, with roots deep enough to live forever.
That’s what we can be when we put our trust in the Lord! Strong, beautiful, able to endure. When I depend on John for my self-worth, when I look to him to “complete” me, I am like that shrub in the desert. I can tell too. That’s when life starts to feel out of control. When I start to feel like I’m failing. When I look to Christ to hold me up, to encourage my heart, when I find my identity in Him, I get to be like the tree, strong and yielding fruit. My trust is in the Lord, my confidence comes from Him.