October Invitation: Read the Psalms with Me! Note Great Verbs!

Let’s read the book of Psalms this month. If we read 5 Psalms a day, we will finish the book. It’s such a joyful practice! You can invite your whole family to read, and at the dinner table, ask which parts stood out. You’ll find that God’s word is living and active and applies uniquely to each person. The Holy Spirit will speak differently to grow each person’s heart.

Today I noticed the verb wither in Psalm 1. David explains that a person who meditates on God’s word is “like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.”

Some years of my life, I’ve noticed the idea that we are firmly planted by life-giving water; other years I’ve looked at the idea that we will prosper. I’ve even spent time asking about that verb “delight.” What about you? What word would you focus on?

I note the word wither.

To wither in the Hebrew means to droop down, to fade, to languish, to fall, and to even become foolish. It’s a perfect verb for anyone who feels too old, too tired, too sick, or too overwhelmed. That was me yesterday. But remember! God says we will not wither as we focus on Him. We will bear fruit. We will prosper.

As I think about withering even further, I remember two pieces of life-changing wisdom about Psalm 1:

First, Judy Douglass says, “If I’m still alive, God still has fruit for me to bear.” If you’re still here, there’s an assignment. You aren’t withering. You’re here still for a reason.

Second, I joined a call with Christian professors yesterday, and one of them talked about our enormous to-do lists. Teaching, writing books, managing your home, grading, meetings. . . there’s too much to do. He said, “You can finish your to-do list, get to heaven, and not have accomplished anything of eternal value. What if we asked God what His to-do list was for us each day?” 

I literally looked down at my notepad with 25 things to do yesterday. The stress withered me completely. But then I prayed, asked God to lead and direct me, and turned to my Life-giving Water. What a difference that made!

We’re not withering. Psalm 1 promises our fruit-bearing and prospering as we delight in God’s word and meditate upon it.

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