The Promise is to You

A Dry Tree or a Watered Garden?

Some days I get virtually nothing done. I accomplish little on my “To Do” List and my own cares and the cares of those near to me dominate my thinking, stealing my joy. Why would I not turn to God? Why rely on my own resources when I know that God is only a heartbeat away?

In his book, Hearing God in Conversation, Sam Williamson “believed that all my happiness rested on my self-perceived ability to do what only God can do.” This confession resonated with me. Somehow I too believed that I was supposed to solve problems and resolve situations that I ought to be giving over to the Lord.

Since I couldn’t do everything I thought I should, a sense of unworthiness replaced my joy.

dry-tree-at-sunset Isaiah 56:3 instructs: “The _________(insert your title here) joined to the Lord should not say ‘The Lord will surely exclude me from His people.’ Nor should the _________ say, ‘See, I am a dry tree.’”

During weeks of drought this summer I watched the green grass turn brown and my garden begin to wither. Trees were dry and yellow leaves fell to the ground.

When the rain finally came the transformation was amazing. Jeremiah 31:12 describes Israel once the Lord showers them with His mercy, “They themselves shall be like watered gardens, never again neglected.”


In Isaiah 56:5, God makes a promise to those who feel “excluded from His people” or like a “dry tree.” “I will give them my house, within My walls, a monument and a name. Better than sons and daughters, an eternal name which shall not be cut off.”

The psalmist in Psalm 138:3 testifies: “On the day I called You answered me. You increased the strength of my soul.”

He promises us over and over again that we are His sons and His daughters.
He offers us His house, His mansion, and the many rooms within His walls.
He names us as His own, with an eternal name which shall not be cut off.
He answers us and meets our needs.
He will never neglect us.
He strengthens our soul.

As I reflected on these Scriptures I felt the Lord’s reassurance in these words:
I never sleep.
I am aware of all your gifts, all your challenges, of all your troubles, of all your pain.
I see your children, your jobs, your elderly parents, your dreams and concerns.
I know you better than you know yourself.
I love and care for you more deeply than you can imagine.
Can you bring yourself to trust me?


By Claudia Burns. Claudia is a prayer minister at Upper Room and part of the Art Committee at Christ the King. She wrote the icons of St. Mark and St. Luke that flank the tabernacle.

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