“Deceitful Heart…

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    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.”

 The heart is deceitful above all things
    and beyond cure.
    Who can understand it?

Jeremiah 17:7-9

The last line of this passage is one that always struck me as an indictment of our state of sin- that is, separation from God in some way. I saw it as our foolish mind, always trying to get our own way.   

In recent reading however, I wonder if it is not an expression of our own anxiety and the irrational thoughts that come from it. I have discussed anxiety as that self-defeating part of us that is always around, trying to defeat us. Isn’t this passage a description of that?

The writer is saying, with the context just before the statement about a deceitful heart, that those who have confidence in the Lord are like a tree planted near a stream. The tree does not need to worry about drought because it has a deep source of refreshing water.

Our deceitful heart (anxiety), tries to make us forget about that source of water that runs deep beside us. Anxiety always reminds us that we are inadequate, ready to fall apart, and hopeless. That is what anxiety does.

I very clearly know that anxiety is a deceiver, and that just because one has anxiety, it is by no means a statement that they lack faith! Rather, I suggest that anxiety can temporarily blind us about what true resources are available to us. It overstates the danger and minimizes the rescue.

So, when you are beset by your anxious heart, as we all are at times, remember the deep refreshment that runs close by.

Prayer: Lord, help us to remember in times of stress and worry that you have provided water, even in the desert, Amen

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