They are like trees planted by streams – they bear their fruit in season, their leaves never wither, everything they do succeeds.”
Who are “they”? If we look at the context – the verses before this one, it is talking about “those who meditate” on God’s word.
So what does it means to “meditate”? Isn’t that a little hokey?
The dictionary definition is: “to engage in thought or contemplation; to reflect. Synonyms are: ponder, ruminate, study, think, contemplate.
So what does it look like to meditate on God’s word?
Simply read a passage – a verse, chapter, or story – and think about it.
Turn it around in your mind; look at it from different angles;
Consider the context; ask questions about it;
Find the answers to your questions;
Think about what God is saying personally to you through it;
Ask God what He wants to tell you through it.
In other words, to meditate on the Word is to think about it and do something with it.
God’s word is living. As the inspired word from his mouth, He breathes through it. He breathes on us through it. He breathes life into us through it.
So let’s go back to Psalm 1:3…
Here is the note from my bible: “They are planted (a deliberate action) in an ideal place (by streams of water). Because of this, their seasons of productivity (fruitfulness) are consistent (they are dependable).”
Here’s the thing: even the healthiest trees do not continuously produce fruit. Fruit comes in season; at intervals. The fruitful seasons happen between periods of rest (the dormant winter) and periods of growth (in spring).
I believe we are the same. It is a lie that those of us in ministry must continuously work to exhaustion for the Kingdom. That we must “save” every person we meet. Why do I think this? Because Jesus didn’t model this. Jesus did not practice workaholism or burnout. He modeled work/life balance, rest, and soul-restoring actions – like taking a walk by the sea and going fishing with the boys.
Somehow, this seems surprising: Jesus didn’t heal everyone he met. He didn’t cast out every demon. He did have periods of ministry where he and his disciples were too busy to eat. But these were interspersed by time away, alone, and alone with God.
When you come to Villa Sollievo, it is our prayer that you are like the tree David mentioned in Psalm 1 – planted by streams of living water. We pray that you soak up Life while here – and are refreshed. Whether for a time of rest, or a time of growth, we pray that you when you re-enter your life and ministry you are better equipped for your next season of fruitfulness.