Note from Randy: Here’s another precious insight from Nanci’s journal. One of the verses she shares, Jeremiah 17:8—the image of us being a tree with roots deeply planted in Jesus—is a favorite of ours.
Dig. Dig down deep into God’s person, His character, His works, His promises. Plant yourself by streams of water. Dig your roots deep into the stream.
Do this in order to know God. Do this as your only source of perspective, of understanding, of strength, of patience, of forbearance, of joy in all that God has as His plan for you.
The more you do it in advance of suffering, the more you have of God’s provision deep in your soul (water) to thrive.
Suffering is a mercy sent by God to cause us to dig deeper into Him. The great difficulty lies when we face suffering “on an empty tank.” Our leaves wither. Our fear comes. We become anxious. We cease to bear fruit.
“But blessed [happy] is the one who trusts in the Yahweh, whose confidence is in him. They 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” (Jeremiah 17:7-8).
“Blessed [happy] is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Yahweh, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers” (Psalm 1:1-3).
When our roots reach deep into the knowledge of God, when suffering comes, our fruit is yielded in its season, all that we do prospers, and our leaves remain green.
And not because we are somehow working up strength from within ourselves; but because the pipeline is already in place. God is the only source of survival and growth—spiritually—in our suffering.
And we would do well to dig deep. The deeper we plumb God, the more resources we have.
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Randy and Nanci Alcorn were married in 1975. They have two married daughters and five grandsons. In March 2022, Nanci went to be with Jesus.