Leaves, Dry Times
prefix un can mean "to
reverse action." In a nutshell,
this is the meaning of God's intervention
in our lives. He wants to reverse
the negative actions and decisions
we make. George Eliot said, "It's
never too late to be what we might
have become." The good news
is that God is in the business of
transformation! He wants to help
us become our best. But just how
do we change? Often we know what
we need to do differently, but we
lack either the desire or the ability
to put the change into effect. In
the two verses of today's text,
the prophet Jeremiah helps us out.
First, he tells us to:
Trust Unconditionally. We
donít have the strength to change
ourselves, but God does; and change
comes about as we trust Him to work
His grace throughout our lives.
In chapter 17, verse 9, Jeremiah
acknowledges the root problem concerning
trust when he says,
heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure."
is an essential need in our world
today, but it is in short supply...
except in Godís economy.
what Jeremiah tells us,
is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him."
don't need to worry and fret. God
is able to handle all of the concerns
we bring Him. In fact, when we decide
we want to partner with God to change,
we are promised blessings. As St.
Augustine put it, "God is more
anxious to bestow His blessings
on us than we are to receive them."
We must believe that God can think
pure thoughts through us, love unlovely
people through us, do blessed deeds
through us, and that He can, in
short, live His Christ-life through
us by His Spirit. Major Ian Thomas
once said, "All there is of
God is available to the man who
is available to all there is of
God." Next, Jeremiah instructs
Grow Uninhibitedly. Richard
Foster said, "Superficiality
is the curse of our age. The doctrine
of instant satisfaction is a primary
spiritual problem. The desperate
need today is not for a greater
number of intelligent people, or
[even] gifted people, but for deep
years ago, I saw a picture of a
lonely, snarled, scraggly tree way
out on a rocky crag. The weathered
tree was the epitome of perseverance.
The caption read: Trees grow
strong when the roots grow deep.
describes for us another picture
of a healthy Christian who is changing
and growing in his or her walk with
God. The growing child of God will
be like a tree planted by the water.
The roots are deep, spreading out,
bringing nourishment and maturity.
It is no secret that every person
needs to grow. It's not natural
or easy, but it is possible. The
key is to embrace the life God has
given us with enthusiasm. Then we
can become intimate with God. We
will grow without limits, and our
roots will grow deeply. Third, he
encourages us to"
Live Unforgettably. Jeremiah
reminds his readers that those who
are intimate with God will not fear
change, but embrace it, becoming
a little more like Christ every
day. Someone once said, "Don't
wait for your ship to come in, swim
out to it." The Christian who
is deeply rooted in God does not
have to worry or fear.
life becomes intense and someone
turns up the heat, it's okay. Our
roots are refreshed by living water.
Our leaves, our attitudes toward
others, are always green. Even in
times of drought, our lives produce
fruit. Christians who are always
changing and growing leave a lasting
impact on all they touch. They are
a man was Arthur Matthews, the last
CIM missionary to get out of China.
He endured months of terror and
uncertainty, but he later said that
by leaning on Jeremiah 17:7-9, he
remained victorious in his spirit.
His biography by Isabel Kuhn is
entitled, Green Leaf in Drought
Time. I hope you'll read it.
your leaves green in drought times?
People can be very shallow in this
day of "instant life."
But, only through the daily process
of change can we grow into the people
God has ordained us to be.
Browning said, "My business
is not to remain myself, but to
make the absolute best of what God
tells us the secret of change. It's
locked up in two little letters,
"un." It's time to reverse
the negative actions and habits
that are keeping us from becoming
intimate with God. It's time to
change and, with God's help, we
can. With God's help, we will. "Be
willing to give up all that you
now are to be all that you can become."
we're through changing, we're through."