Today is Tu bishvat. It’s a Jewish holiday in honor of trees. It is also called Rosh HaShanah L’alanot – the new year of the trees. Adonai uses the imagery of trees throughout the Scriptures. One of my favorite is from Tehillim (Psalms) 1. The psalmist describes the difference between the righteous and the wicked. Verses 2 – 3 describe the righteous as follows , “Their delight is in Adonai’s Torah; on his Torah they meditate day and night. They are like trees planted by streams — they bear their fruit in season, their leaves never wither, everything they do succeeds.”
This is what Adonai desires for each of us to be successful – to bear fruit for His kingdom. How does it happen? We have to delight in His word. The Scriptures need to be integrated into our daily life. We need to devour them. The word should direct everything we do throughout the day. Whether we are at home, work, or school, His word should permeate our thoughts encouraging us of the goodness of Adonai and His promises to us.
We need to stay connected to Him by allowing the roots of our relationship with G-d to go deep into the Word. Receiving sustenance from Adonai like the tree by water, strengthens us to face whatever happens in our world. Storms may batter against at tree, but if its roots are deep within the ground, it will withstand them. We won’t be broken by the difficulties of life, but instead we will blossom in every area of our lives as we abide in Him. Even when the heat of the day beats down on us, He promises that we will not wither.
We need to be filled with the Ruach and His living waters flowing in us and through us to a lost and dying world. The Spirit of G-d brings life to us refreshing us as we travel on this journey. He is vital to our flourishing. Without the Ruach, we will wither up and die.
Tehillim 92 says, “The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar in the L’vanon. Planted in the house of Adonai, they will flourish in the courtyards of our God. Even in old age they will be vigorous, still full of sap, still bearing fruit, proclaiming that Adonai is upright, my Rock, in whom there is no wrong.” The imagery is powerful. Strength, vitality and fruitfulness is His plan for each one of us no matter our age, gender, or stage in life. The key is to be in Him. We flourish in His presence. Don’t let the pressures of life drain you of the strength of Adonai. He wants you to thrive fulfilling His destiny for you.