But to see this tree we have to look through and past another tree. This tree is struggling. It is a type of evergreen tree but is clearly dying. Many of the needles fell out of the tree in our first windstorm in September. Compared to the first tree, which is a joy to look at, this one is ugly, a dying eyesore.
This is what Psalm 1 refers to when it compares righteous and unrighteous living to strong and dying trees. Psalm 1:3-4 says, "[The righteous] are like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.... [But the wicked] are like chaff that the wind blows away."
Which type of tree are you? The lush, strong, beautiful, growing tree? Or the dying tree that sheds its leaves early because it's roots are dead because they're not grounded in good soil?
Jesus reminds us in Mark 4 that the seed of God's word is scattered abroad, but it only takes root in good soil where it produces great things for God. We create that soil and become the strong tree of Psalm 1 through prayer, bible reading, and worship and fellowship with each other.
Today, resolve to plant yourself firmly in the river of God's grace and let yourself grow in the knowledge of him.