Encouragement for Today - December 11, 2012


Wendy Pope

December 11, 2012

Planted By Streams
Wendy Pope

"He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers." - Psalm 1:3 (NIV 1984)

After marrying the man of my dreams, I thought my happily-ever-after had begun. And it did ... for a while. We had a cute Cape Cod on Logan Street, I taught fourth grade, and we enjoyed sweet friends in our church. Life was not only good; it was great.

But "great" quickly departed when changes came our way with a new job in a new city and a new house filled with a new baby. My husband's job meant he was gone ... a lot. Which meant I was alone ... a lot.

The transition to so much time alone was difficult, but it helped me see something was missing. At first I had no idea what it was or where to find it; I just knew it wasn't something I could get in my home, child or husband.

It took a while, but eventually I became keenly aware of what was missing: God wasn't part of my happily-ever-after. I had left Him out. At a young age I'd accepted Jesus as my Savior, but I had never surrendered to Him or spent much time with Him praying or reading the Bible.

A soul that is saved but not in relationship with Christ is void of His fullness. I was living in the void.

God heard the cries from my unfulfilled heart and led me to Scripture. On that day I opened my Bible to Psalm 1 and found this fulfilling truth:

"... his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers." (vs. 2-3 NIV 1984)

God tenderly let me see my tree (life) was planted in places far from the streams of His living water. I had planted myself beside the streams of the world, seeking its temporary joy and fulfillment. Planting myself there, away from Him left me thirsty. The unfertile soil and lack of hydration caused me to wither.

Meditating on His Word was the key to finding what I was missing. It never occurred to me God's instructions could be delightful, or that thinking of them day and night was even possible. "How does one meditate on Your Word day and night and still get things done Lord?" I asked.

In a faint whisper I felt the Lord encourage me, "Start here."

For the next 150 days I read a chapter a day in the book of Psalms. Actually, I spent more than one day reading Psalm 119. Have you seen Psalm 119? Its 176 verses were a bit intimidating for this newbie in the Word!

Is your life planted close to God? Does your heart have fertile soil for His Word to prosper? If you feel like me on that day I opened my Bible—lonely, thirsty and withering away, today can the beginning of your refreshment!

Dear Lord, I want to open my Bible and allow You to plant the seeds of change in my heart. Following the ways of the world have made me feel as if I am withering. Thank You that Your Word has the power to change me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

Would you like to bring the message of this devotion to the women of your church? Click here to have Wendy Pope as your next retreat / key note speaker.

Visit Wendy's blog as she celebrates the release of her new eBook Bible study, Trusting God for a Better Tomorrow. Enter to win one of four copies and learn how you can be part of her new life-changing online Bible Study starting in January.

This week Wendy is celebrating the release of Trusting God for a Better Tomorrow, by giving away a free MP3 of her audio teaching about King David, What to do in the W.A.I.T.

Reflect and Respond:
How do you feel about reading God's Word every day?

Make a commitment to read one Psalm a day, allowing three days to complete Psalm 119.

Power Verses:
Psalm 119:15-16, "I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word." (NIV 1984)

Psalm 119:105, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." (NIV 1984)

2 Timothy 3:16-17, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (NIV 1984)

© 2012 by Wendy Pope. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105

Originally published Tuesday, 11 December 2012.