Art: “Jeremiah 17” watercolor print by Emma Tilley, 2019, used by permission of the artist
Available online at: https://www.wesleybros.com/wesbros/in-which-st-basil-the-great-annoys-an-american/
Written by Katie Tomlin, Associate Pastor at Pinehurst United Methodist Church in Pinehurst, NC
Blessed are those who trust in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
They shall be like a tree planted by water,
sending out its roots by the stream.
It shall not fear when heat comes,
and its leaves shall stay green;
in the year of drought it is not anxious,
and it does not cease to bear fruit.Jeremiah 17:7-8
Jeremiah was a prophet during the exile of Israel, standing alongside his people to proclaim repentance and hope as they suffered for having turned away from God. Jeremiah was not afraid to share his reluctance and distaste for the task God has given him, but God reassured him it would be okay as long as Jeremiah continued to obey. Jeremiah remained alongside his people as they suffered for having turned away from God, but God helped him endure the hardships. Here, and in other parts of the prophetic book, God’s response is clear: despite the trials you are going through and will go through, I am with you. Even as God punished the people, God’s heart was breaking for them. Jeremiah pushed forward, despite wishing the job belonged to anyone else.
Painted in 2019, the watercolor print “Jeremiah 17” came out of a difficult season of illness for the artist, my friend, Emma. These verses remind us when pain and hardship come, there is something deeper that connects us and roots us. We might rely on God in new ways we haven’t experienced before, or ways that we can’t see God is providing for us. When life is full of struggles, deep roots in worship, scripture, prayer, and other spiritual disciplines are there to ground us in God, whose living water can flow through us. A tree planted by water will never dry up and die, because it continually stays connected to the source of life.
Lord, may we find ourselves deeply rooted in you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Find previous “Picturing God” entries here:
Art: “Resurrection Icon” Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons Available online at: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Resurrection_(24).jpg Written by Brian Johnson, Pastor of Haymarket…
Art: “Crucifixion of Jesus” drawn by Gustave Doré, engraved by J. Gauchard Brunier. Scanned by Michael Gäbler with Epson Perfection 4490 Photo., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons Available…
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Art: “The Taking of Christ” by Caravaggio, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons Available online at: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Taking_of_Christ-Caravaggio_(c.1602).jpg …