Devotional Readings

October 26: Growing Like a Tree

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper (Psalm 1:3).

A tree keeps on growing as long as it lives; so should the true believer. Like a tree, he grows stronger day by day and year by year. The age of a tree can usually be determined by its annual growth rings. In dry years they are narrow; in seasons of plentiful rain they are wide. But the tree always grows some. Sometimes the growth is rapid, sometimes slow, but it is growth. The law of a tree is "grow or die." So it is with the man who delights in the law of the Lord. He grows spiritually--in easy times and hard, in prosperity and adversity--sometimes rapidly, at other times slowly; but he grows.

One never forgets his first view of the great sequoia trees of California. He bares his head in reverence before the General Sherman Tree, probably the oldest living thing on earth today. We are told that it was a large tree when David wrote the first psalm, which contains our text for today. It was a great tree when Jesus walked by Galilee, a monarch in the days of the Reformation, and now it is a world wonder. Empires have risen and fallen, but that great tree lives and is still growing. The child of God is to be like a tree, a tree planted by the rivers of water, always growing.

Looking down from a high mountain, I once gazed across the Arizona desert. Across its sun-scorched face ran a green line to the far horizon. It was the strange, upside-down Hassayampa River. The waters flowing sometimes unseen beneath its sandy bed nourish the luxuriant trees that mark its course across the desert. "Like a tree planted by the rivers of water," the child of God lives, grows, and bears fruit in the desert of this world. This is God's promise: "He shall be like a tree."

MEDITATION PRAYER: "For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour" (Psalm 8:5).

from The Promises of God
H.M.S. Richards | Review & Herald (2004)
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