Sustenance and resilience

The Doctor's Life Support for 13 February

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

What gives a tree sustenance and resilience in times of drought? How can a tree be productive in such adversity? The secret is in its taproot, which accesses hidden pools of water. So trees flourish even during drought. For us, the taproot is the word of God and it accesses the water of life. Delighting in and meditating on the word of God is spiritual food and drink, giving the believer depth, fruitfulness and stability. Believers should talk about God’s word at all times, in all places, bind it to their hearts, and teach it to their children. (Deuteronomy 6: 7) This word-dependent resilience to spiritual drought is contrasted to the worldly chaff consumed by those who ‘walk in the counsel of the wicked’, ‘stand in the way of sinners’, and ‘sit in the seat of mockers’. (Psalm 1: 1) Those who rely on the word of God avoid moulding by the crowd, even if supposedly righteous. They are spiritually strong and capable of withstanding adversity. Their secret is a hidden personal walk with God. (Matthew 6: 6) For such a person the word of God is not just studied, or known, or quoted, but delighted in and meditated on day and night. It is sustenance, companion, inspiration and joy, moulding minds and hearts. Such meditation does not involve emptying the mind but relies on the word of God, stimulating the imagination and motivating action pleasing to God. It visualises the magnitude and vastness of God, which is beyond our understanding. We are not dominated in Christian meditation, but submit to the spiritual world centred on Jesus. It follows that health workers who feed from the word of God and meditate on it, behave justly and work to benefit their patients and communities. They are part of the assembly of the righteous. The world needs such people!

Written by Alan Gijsbers from Australia

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