I have one of those husbands who gets up at the crack of dawn with energy and a freaky desire to produce. I have always wanted to be a person like this. I imagine myself rising before my family, and having an amazing workout and time with Jesus, so that I am radiant with sweat and the spirit when they first see me each morning.  I have an illusion that if I can be this kind of woman, then all my problems would be solved. But the truth is, I would be happy if I never had to start life before 7:30. Or even 8:30. 

Most of the times my husband rises while it's still dark, I sleep right through it. But on those days I wake, it seems I decide my life's greatest questions and fears should be addressed and answered right there on my pillow at 5 am. I'm pretty sure this is not my best problem solving time. Often these are the questions that stir: Am I doing enough? Am I enough? Am I fulfilling my purpose?

From the time I came to Christ, I have had a repetitive prayer in my soul to stay the course and finish strong. I have asked God for a fruitful life. After watching my mother die an early death from cancer and then fighting my own battle with cancer, I’ve been left with this awareness of the brevity of life. Sometimes this awareness is good, but I think the enemy uses it to cause a lot of fear. As John Piper says, “Don’t waste your life!” 

Oh my, what if I accidentally do?

Jeremiah 17:7 holds the secret to the fruitful life: “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

Confidence has been a hot topic word for me because I have a long- standing battle with fear and insecurity. I always thought of confidence as believing in one’s self. Since I have to stare constantly at the weaknesses within myself, it doesn’t tend to build my confidence, but the Scripture says my confidence is in the Lord, in His might, in His power, in His wisdom.

God uses heat or fire to describe “the grief and all kinds of trials” (1 Pet 1:6) that we will face. A person whose roots have dug down deep into the stream of God’s truth and love will still miraculously have green leaves in the midst of the heat. Our midwest summers in Missouri can have scorching heat that makes leaves dry, brittle, brown, and dead. I don’t want a soul like that. The promise to a person that trusts in God and puts their confidence in Him, not in themselves or others and their opinions, is that they will never fail to bear fruit. This person stands in contrast to the one described in verse 5 that trusts in man. That person will be a dry desert like a bush in the wastelands instead of the strong, green, fruit-producing tree with deep roots in the stream of trust.

“As the rain or snow come down and don’t return without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish so that it yields fruit. It is the same with my word. I send it out and it always produces fruit.” - Isaiah 55:10-11

The word of God always produces fruit in our lives. When I let the roots of my heart grow deeper and deeper into the stabilizing, life-giving, truth of God’s word, that's when I see fruit!