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Summer in the Psalms - Psalm 1 🌴

Many seasons in motherhood, it has felt difficult to pick up a Bible. Sometimes, it has felt almost impossible - have you been there before? Sleep-deprived, overwhelmed, pressed for time, and in need of a shower (which describes the majority of the last five years of my life 😂).

In these times, I have reached for the psalms. They have brought me comfort, peace and hope. They have given me a firm place to stand in the midst of chaos and weakness, and have taught me to delight in God’s Word. The psalms have reminded me of God’s promises so that I won’t forget them (mom brain is real). They have tethered me to Jesus as I have struggled through the little years.

I am grateful to God for the psalms, and this summer, I’ll share some thoughts on those that have impacted me deeply in the midst of motherhood.

It was a chilly morning in February a few years back when my mother in law called us crying. A tornado had ripped through her neighborhood in North Carolina - damaging her home and leveling others to the ground. Lives were lost and the landscape of the neighborhood was transformed as the enormous pine trees that had once provided shade and beauty were toppled by the tornado. However, the force of the tornado was no rival for the palm trees - they remained standing strong, and continued to flourish despite the powerful storm they had faced. We saw it with our own eyes in March when we visited!

This is what Psalm 1 is all about : how can we be like the palm trees rather than the pines? How can we remain steadfast despite the raging storms and struggles of life and motherhood?

Psalm 1 describes the “righteous” - those whose “delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditate on his law day and night” (v. 2) - and the psalmist calls them “blessed.” They are compared to a palm tree: “which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither - whatever they do prospers!” The palm trees mentioned here would have been planted by a source of water because the land did not receive adequate rainfall - proximity to a river or stream was vital, allowing them to thrive.

The righteous dwell in the Word - meditating on it “day and night” - and they “delight” in the Word. They don’t just know the Word of God, but they rejoice over it and receive it and realize their desperate need for it. Their roots are dug deep in the Word. And this is the promise of God for the righteous: they will be sustained and satisfied as they root themselves in proximity to Him, just as the palm trees are sustained by their source. The righteous will flourish and bear good fruit, even in desert-like conditions!

On the other hand, the wicked “are like chaff that the wind blows away” (v. 4) and they will come to destruction (v. 6). They will be like the pine trees - fragile and forgotten as the tornado whisked them away. Their shallow roots will fail them and the storms of life will shake them.

It’s no accident that the Psalms begin here - reminding us to anchor ourselves in God and His Word alone. May this be the summer where we become more like the palm trees - planting ourselves as close to Jesus and His Word as possible so that we can THRIVE and flourish in the ways that God desires for us.

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