Today’s Lectio Divina: Excerpts from Psalm 1. (MsgB)
You thrill to God’s Word, you chew on Scripture day and night.
You’re a tree replanted in Eden, bearing fresh fruit every month,
Never dropping a leaf, always in blossom.
In the beginning, you and I were there. Young saplings. Planted on the shores of the ancient River of Life. Gently placed in the rich soils of Eden. Firmly tucked into the ground by the gentle yet firm hands of our Creator. Watered by His love, fertilized by His grace. Trees destined for greatness in the Garden of our Lord.
In time, we would grow to become mighty oaks of righteousness. Massive trees with mighty limbs strong enough to bear the weight of all those who seek protection under our green umbrellas of life.
But suddenly one day, an interruption to these glorious agricultural plans of God occurs.
Through choices beyond my control, I’m suddenly being uprooted. A man named Adam and a woman named Eve are digging me up. Taking me from my home next to the River and transplanting me into a dry, arid land far outside the Garden. The shock to my system is almost unbearable. But being the strong, vibrant tree that God made me to be, I’m able to slowly adapt to my new surroundings. The man, Adam, and his wife, are good stewards. They do their very best to keep me alive during seasons of drought and midst long cold winters.
I survive. But I still remember the way it once was. I long for the day when my roots will be restored to the home I know so well.
Amazingly, I’ve still grown. As I’ve matured and grown taller over the years, I’ve found that if I can keep my face turned toward the setting sun, I can now just barely see the far-away gates of Eden in the west.
I long for my home by the River. I know that I will return there some day.
In the meantime, I munch on God’s Word. I reflect on days long gone. But more than ever, I’m beginning to focus nowadays on things yet to come. Rather than regret the past, I’m allowing the joy of my future to control my thinking. I’m beginning to realize that my experience out here in the desert, east of Eden, has taught me many new lessons about life.
Could it be that this interruption in location has been used by God to strengthen my roots? Could it be that once I’m replanted in the Garden, my usefulness to the Master will be much more powerful than I first expected. Maybe this season outside the Garden has made me more disease-resistant, stronger than I’d ever been if I’d stayed inside the safety and protection of my Father’s House?
I guess only our Creator, the Master Gardener, knows the complete answers to these difficult questions.
In the meantime, I look to the west and long for the day of replanting. Yet, isn’t it interesting that so many beautiful song birds and chattering creatures have found a safe home under the shelter of my branches here in this dry arid land?
Maybe there is a reason for my being here outside Eden.
My prayer: The Psalmist reminds me of my ancient history in the Garden and refreshes me with the joy yet to come. May I accept Your planting of me, Lord, here in the soil outside Eden. May I bloom and flourish here on this barren land, bearing fruit in every season. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: What might it look like for my life to become an oak of righteousness in a dry and arid land? What life might I bring to others if I learn to accept my place of planting? Am I so consumed with regrets about the past or concerns about tomorrow that I’m little good to the work of the Master Gardener going on through my life today?
So what is God speaking to you today as you ponder the Psalms?
Over a 50-week period, you and I will take a deeper look at The Psalms: God’s Songbook of Prayers. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Contemplating the Psalms home page for ease of use. Keep in mind that one of the best ways to explore the on-going applications of this blog series is to walk alongside a biblically-based, Christ-centered spiritual director who is familiar with how to make material like this part of your overall spiritual formation in God. Many of our directors in our Sustainable Faith-Heartland network are available to companion you in your journey with Jesus. Click here for more info.
If you like what you’re reading, might we suggest you share this page with others!