Scripture gives us many interesting images of what union with God looks like. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose hope is the Lord. He is like a tree planted beside the water that stretches out its roots to the stream” (Jeremiah 17:7-8, emphasis added). In a very similar fashion the Psalmist writes that blessed are those for whom “the law of the Lord is their joy; God’s law they study day and night. They are like a tree planted near streams of water that yields its fruit in season” (Psalm 1:2-3, emphasis added).
In both passages the biblical authors use water as an image that surrounds the soul that is united to God. Water is the source of life, wherever there is water there is life. What leads a soul to water is trust in the Lord and pondering his word. You can apply this to your spiritual life as well by saying that whenever you are trusting in the Lord and pondering his word you are surrounded by water, i.e. a place where life, in particular your life, can flourish and grow. Unfortunately the opposite is true. Wherever there is a lack of trust in God and an inordinate trust in oneself or other people and wherever there is a lack of reflection of God’s word a soul moves into a dry and barren desert. It is a land filled with doubt, insecurity and most importantly, no water. Hence, the command of the Lord is clear, stay near the water! Trust in God and ponder his word daily and your soul will never be thirsty.
Fr. Jeremiah Myriam Shryock, CFR
Sacred Heart of Jesus Friary
Fort Worth, TX
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