Whose Leaf Does Not Wither

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

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I have always loved Psalm 1

But until today I did not understand

This verse

I thought I did

I thought someone connected to the Lord

Whose heart was fully His

Immersed in His word

Would go from glory to glory

Would find success

No fear of failure

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But that isn’t what this verse says at all

“Yielding its fruit in season”

Does not mean the tree is always fruitful

Nor that every season is the same

Some seasons bring failure

Storms so violent they uproot

Yet even battered

Older

The tree still produces fruit

Its branches a haven for birds

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“The leaf does not wither”

Not because it has experienced no drought

No hardship

But because the roots run so deep

That the streams of living water

Sustain it

In the midst of drought

Uncertainty

Overwhelming grief

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“Whatever he does prospers” does not mean

There is no failure

No humiliation and regret

No sleepless nights and tear-filled eyes

No terrible days you wish you could live over

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As I am getting older

Starting to feel more

Invisible

A little less sharp

Not as quick as I once was

My circle of influence smaller

I realize “whatever he does” is not a promise of success

Of better days to come

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It is a reminder that

Whatever I do right now

In whatever work God has given me

Even if it is far less than I used to do

Even if I feel less capable

Less significant

I can prosper in the now

Make this day count for eternity

Influence the hearts I’ve been given to influence

Those precious souls who will leave the nest all too soon

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He must become greater

I must become less

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Surrender only the beginning of an adventure

Not the end of one

The secret of being content

Trusting Him for this day

This season

Flourishing in the now

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July will be over all too soon

August is coming

And with it another school year

The names of my students

Ready to be prayed over

Hoping my students feel valued and seen

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I set my heart on the course

God has set for me

May I be a tree planted by streams

Of living water

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