It’s summer now in South Carolina. Summer – hot, dry, and utterly unforgiving of gardens left unwatered, especially where I live. Our area, called the Sandhills, is known for its porous, sandy soil that drains water rather than holds it. My husband is the gardener in our family, and he strives every spring and summer to keep our yard on a strict schedule of regular watering to ensure a green lawn and healthy plants. Should we forget, our beautiful yard would quickly dry up and die.
About an hour away, though, is Congaree National Park, and although they endure the same hot summers as we do, the rangers there don’t worry about irrigation schedules. Congaree is a floodplain forest, and the trees and vegetation there are watered and nurtured all year long by the river that runs through it. No fear of the South Carolina sun there! Even in the heat, it is a beautiful, green, and thriving place.
These two pictures are what I think of when I read the prophet Jeremiah’s description of two kinds of people – those whose primary dependence is in people rather than the Lord, and those whose hope is solely in God. The first group is like the plants in the sandy soil of my yard – withdraw the irrigation of outward blessings, and they wither and die. No hope. The second group is like the trees of Congaree National Park. Nourished by the life-giving river of God, even in times of spiritual or emotional drought, they remain vibrant and fruitful.
Read the rest in my "Words of Strength" column at Glory and Strength.