God Is Our Source for Life
“Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8a)
Maria turned on the faucet for her mom. Then she slowly followed the hose to where her mom was watering the flowers. “How was your day, Maria?” her mom asked.
“Not very good,” Maria said. “Jessica ruined it.”
“Jessica ruined your whole day. Hmm. How did Jessica do that?”
“She didn't want to sit by me or play with me today. She played with Sarah instead. Jessica's supposed to be my best friend!” Maria glanced at the flowers. “That flower needs some water, Mom. It looks brown.”
“My hose doesn't reach that plant,” she said. “I need to replant that flower before it dies.”
“Oh,” Maria said. “Anyway, it's going to be a bad year. I am the only third-grader without a best friend.”
“I know how important Jessica’s friendship is to you, sweetie. I'm sure she will still be your friend if you talk to her about it.” Mom started rolling up the hose, and they walked back to the house. “But Maria, don't let this ruin your year – or even your day. You can still be happy even if Jessica is being unkind.”
“But it's so hard! How can I be happy when Jessica is being mean to me?”
“Maria, do you see that plant down there next to your knee?”
“That really big one?” Maria asked.
“Yes. That's the same kind of flower as that brown one back there.”
“Really?” Maria asked, looking from one to the other. “What makes it so different?”
“The difference is its water source. I can't reach the brown one with my hose, so it has to wait for the rain to water it. But this big, green one is right underneath the leaky faucet. The drips from the faucet are a constant supply of water that help it grow. Even if there is no rain for weeks, that plant will still have water every day – because it is right next to the source of water.”
“Ok,” Maria said slowly. “I don’t get it.” Her mom smiled, and then turned off the hose.
“In the Bible, Jeremiah talks about people who trust in other people instead of trusting in God. Jeremiah compares those people to a plant in a desert. A desert plant does not have a constant source of water, so it will not live long or well. But someone who trusts in the Lord is like a plant living by a river. A plant next to a river will always be green and healthy because its roots get water from a constant supply. When you put your hope in a person – even a good friend like Jessica – you will be disappointed sometimes. No person could ever be a reliable source of abundant life.”
“Well, abundant means profitable or plentiful. An abundant life is full of all the good things God wants us to have.”
“Oh, now I get it,” Maria said. “If I want to have an abundant life, I have to get it from God, not Jessica – right?”
“Exactly,” Mom said. “Only God can be a constant Source of life for you. If you trust God to be your best friend, He will not let you down.”
“Wow! I hadn't thought about it that way before." Maria was quiet for a moment. "Um…Mom?"
"Can we move that brown plant closer to the source of water, now?”
And together they went to get the shovel.
Is God your best Friend? Or are you relying on other people and other things to give you happiness? God is the only One Who can be a reliable Source for full joy in life. Jeremiah 17 teaches that those who trust in the LORD are blessed.
Only God can be our Source of abundant life.
» Am I depending on people to be my source of abundant life at church, home, or school?
» How can I show that I believe God is the only reliable Source of abundant life?
Truth In Real Life
“I esteem it the duty of every Christian to seek the advancement of the cause of Christ more truly than they are wont to their own favorite objects.”
Marcus Whitman, who became a famous pioneering medical missionary, was born in New York on September 4, 1802. He was just 7 years old when his father died. Whitman wanted to become a doctor and a missionary. Unable to decide between the two, he chose both! He felt called of God to go to the West – states such as Montana and Idaho were just being developed – and he wanted to take the Gospel to those who had never heard.
One weekend, he met a woman named Narcissa Prentiss who wanted to travel to the West as a missionary but was unable to go because she was single. He agreed to marry her that weekend – and together, Marcus and Narcissa Whitman became one of the most famous missionary teams in history.
In 1836, the Whitmans, along with a group of other missionaries, joined a caravan of fur traders traveling to the West. They traveled farther west than any American group had traveled before, setting up several Christian missions and sharing the Gospel as they went.
Whitman built missions, led Christian meetings, and served as a doctor. Narcissa ran her household, helped her husband, and taught school. Along with being used by God to share the Gospel, the Whimans became famous for leading the first party of wagon trains along the Oregon Trail. Thousands of immigrants followed in their footsteps to make the West what it is today.
Sadly, the Whitmans and their motives were misunderstood. They ended up being killed by the same people they had desired to help and tried so hard to reach. But God used them to spread His Gospel and to encourage pioneer missionary workers in the future.
Courage can be contagious. Do you have the courage to serve God and to do what it takes to advance His cause? Do you think His Gospel is worth giving your life to share?
Deuteronomy 31:6 – Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.