Yield Fruit and Prosper

If you’ve been around this blog for more than a year, you’ve likely seen pix of our Dock Tree. Which is, on January 19, still out on the dock.

Boats and Christmas both mean a lot to my man, and I guess, somewhere along the way, Robbie figured it made sense to combine these two loves. All he needed, he said, was six new boxes of lights. And maybe eight more extension cords.

To me, the Dock Tree seemed silly, at first. But now that we are in the Empty Nest years, it fills our lives with meaning. And purpose. We look at the Dock Tree first thing, with our coffee. We look at it late at night, before bed. We take pictures–scads of pictures–eager to capture its beauty in different lighting and weather conditions.

And, as with children, we learned that Dock Trees can be tricky. They do not, for example, fare too well in high winds.

This year, Robbie tried a new plan. He mounted the tree on a thick piece of plywood, one that has languished in our garage for the past 15 years (waiting, some might say, for such a time as this). Surely, the heavy foundation would hold.

It did not.

As I stood in the kitchen, cradling my coffee mug and looking out at the fallen tree from the warmth of my window, I thought about Psalm 1. “Blessed,” it says, “is the person whose delight is in the law of the Lord.” When we love the Bible–when we read it and cherish it and let its truth soak into our lives–we will be “like a tree planted by streams of water.” We will “yield fruit in season.” And whatever we do “will prosper.”

Those are some good promises, and ones I’d like to see fulfilled in my life. And–taking a cue from the Dock Tree–I have to think that a key term is “planted.” Because if all we do is screw ourselves into some plywood, without having any roots to grow down deep, it doesn’t matter how close to the water we get. God’s word will not nourish us. We won’t bear any fruit. And rather than prospering when the storms of life hit, we’ll be apt to fall over.

There’s a note scrawled in the margin of my Bible beside Psalm 1. Apparently, I prayed it over our family, back in 2014. Feels like 2018 might be a good time to pray it again:

Heavenly Father,

May we take delight in your word, meditating on it day and night as we go through our lives.

Plant us by streams of water, with roots that go deep. Let us yield fruit in season (and be patient in the winters of our lives, when the buds cannot yet be seen).

Bless us and prosper us, in all that we do. (Psalm 1:3)

In Jesus name,

Amen.

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  • AnneMarie Ezzo

    Really appreciate the analogy Jodie. Sadly we may often think just being ‘attached’ to something or someone close to the water is sufficient. Especially in parenting, if we don’t nourish and encourage our children to develop their own personal relationship with “roots” they and parents may develop a false sense of security, “we go to church, the kids are in Sunday School/Youth group a Bible Study” … but if there are no roots when the storms and temptations of life come, the kids sadly, topple over. It’s a good time for all us to personally evaluate and make sure we have ‘roots’ going down deep. Blessings

    • Jodie Berndt

      AnneMarie, thanks so much for the comment! Loved hearing from you. And yes – it is ALL about that personal relationship, with roots that grow deep. And as my good friend Susan Alexander Yates says, there’s no such thing as an “inherited faith.” We all gotta get our own! Grateful for you, Friend!