My friend, Joel, sent me the following passage today in an email in mentioning how great the hope in God is and how fickle the hope in flesh.
5 Thus says the Lord:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
and makes flesh his strength,
whose heart turns away from the Lord.
6 He is like a shrub in the desert,
and shall not see any good come.
He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness,
in an uninhabited salt land.
7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
8 He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
9 The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?
I love the imagery and potency of these verses:
uninhabited, unfruitful, unproductive salt land
confident, fruitful, productive roots by water.
And yet we long for drought and desert.
We are sick.
God is good in His grace to reveal Himself to us and create within us a desire to long for Him and His.
And yet even in this blessed state we acknowledge that we often desire to be free from grace and enslaved again to sin.
The heart is beyond our ability to repair.
Who can understand these things?
Praise God for His grace and unfailing, faithful love.
Blessed be the Lord,
who daily bears us up;
God is our salvation.
Give pause to reflect upon that promise.
He DAILY bears us up.
If He doesn't, we are bare.