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Like a Tree Planted By the Water


A few years ago, I enrolled myself into the Kent County master gardening program. Each week I attentively sat through a four-hour class where I learned about everything from the science behind plant growth to the art of composting and what nutrients make up good soil.

Needless to say, I was like a sponge. I couldn’t get enough of the information. I remember one class in particular where the instructor was describing how a tree takes up nutrients and how those nutrients are carried throughout the tree, systemically to every branch—every leaf. I couldn’t help but smile and say quietly to myself (so I thought), “Amazing.” The gal sitting next to me said, “What’s amazing, and why are you smiling?” I replied “God’s creation! It’s amazing—each and every intricate detail. Only God could make a tree.”

When Steve Carter began his message this past weekend talking about a tree and photosynthesis, it brought me back to that class, and again, I smiled. Psalm 1.1-3 and Jeremiah 17.5-8 are some of my favorite passages, and I was reminded again of how important my choices are in living a life that’s honoring to God.

One of the most powerful statements Steve made was “How we live, we tell the world what God is like.” Wow, I had to ask myself, With each and every choice I make every day and the way I live, am I pointing people to Christ? Am I displaying actions of grace, kindness, and truth? Every time I interact with someone, whether I know them or not, do I treat them with respect and dignity? As Steve stated, “Every time we make a choice, we are saying this is the best possible way to live.”

The choices and consequences are clear. Sole dependence upon our self—we won’t go very far. Placing our confidence and trust in God—Jeremiah 17.7-8 answers this question:

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord
And whose trust is the Lord.
For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit” (NASB).

May I be a woman who honors God with my life, living in a way that tells the world God is hope, God is love, God is life!

I chose life!!


Marsha Sweet | executive assistant
Marsha serves as executive assistant to Jeff Manion and Sam Tawney at Ada Bible Church, Cascade Campus. She enjoys life with her husband, Fred, and she savors every moment in her perennial gardens. One of her greatest joys is spending time with their six grandkids who bring them more joy, life and love than they could ever imagine.  

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Doug Redford #


    Great words; thanks for sharing. Your post reminds me of some great discussions I had this summer with a men’s group that met every Friday morning. We went through a study on the Holy Spirit by Francis Chan called “Forgotten God.” One of the things we learned was how the Spirit empowers us not so much to do some incredibly difficult and amazing things (although He certainly does that!), but to live a life of obedience in the seemingly routine and mundane moments of life.

    This could involve such things as how I respond to requests from my wife, how I react when things go “sideways” at work, or how I respond when it seems like every other driver on the road is purposely out to aggravate me. This is how we show “what God is like.”

    We came to the conclusion that it is in these areas of our lives where the Spirit can do some of His most amazing work. But we also recognized that we often miss these opportunities, either through negligence or disobedience. The Spirit DOES want to work and DOES want to show the world “the best possible way to live.” Thanks again.

    August 28, 2013
  2. Marie Mossner #

    Loved this Marsha! Today I choose life. To be a tree not a tumbleweed. Thanks for the good reminder!

    August 28, 2013
  3. Carmen #

    A beautiful reflection, Marsha! Thank you for the treasured reminder of Jeremiah 17.7-8 .

    August 28, 2013
  4. Glenda Roby #

    Thank you Martha,very well said. I,like Marie, Choose Life.
    I have t also agree on what you said about the Grandchildern! We already have 2 great -grandchildern! The blessings are the same. How great is God?

    August 28, 2013

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