“Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters. . . . [His] leaf shall be green” (Jeremiah 17:7–8).
Maria turned on the faucet for her mom. Then she slowly followed the hose to where her mom was watering the flowers. “How was your day, Maria?” her mom asked.
“Not very good,” Maria said. “Jessica ruined it.”
“Jessica ruined your whole day?” Mom asked, looking over at Maria. “How did she do that?”
“She didn’t want to sit by me or play with me today. She played with Sarah instead. She was supposed to be my best friend.” Maria glanced at the flowers. “That flower needs some water, Mom. It looks brown.”
“My hose won’t reach that plant,” said Maria’s mom. “I need to replant that flower before it dies.”
“Oh,” Maria said. “Anyway, it’s going to be a bad year. I’m the only third grader without a best friend.” Maria picked a weed while her mom walked ahead of her.
“I know how important Jessica’s friendship is to you, sweetie. I am sure she’ll still be your friend if you talk to her about it.” Her mom paused to water a bush. “But Maria, you shouldn’t let her ruin your year or your day. You can still be happy even if Jessica is being unkind.”
“But it’s so hard,” Maria said. “How can I be happy when Jessica’s being mean to me?”
“Maria, do you see that plant by the side of the house?”
“That really big one?” Maria asked.
“Yes. That’s the same kind of flower as the brown one back there.”
“Really?” Maria asked, looking from one to the other. “What makes it so different?”
“The difference is its water source,” her mom said. “I can’t reach the brown one with my hose, so it has to wait for the rain to water it. But the big green one is right where the leaky faucet drips. It has a constant supply of water to make it grow. Even if there’s no rain for weeks, that plant still gets water every day because it’s right by the source of water.”
“Okay,” Maria said slowly. “I don’t get it.”
Her mom smiled, then turned off the hose.
“In the Bible, Jeremiah talks about a person who trusts in other people instead of God. He compares him to a plant in a desert. That plant doesn’t have a constant source of water, so it will die. But Jeremiah compares the person who trusts in the Lord to a plant by a river. It will always be green and fruitful because its roots get their water from a constant supply. When you put your hope in a human, even a good friend like Jessica, you will be disappointed sometimes. No human is a reliable source of abundant life.”
“Abundant? What’s that mean?”
“‘Abundant’ means ‘fruitful’ or ‘plentiful.’” An abundant life is full of all the good things God wants us to have.”
“Oh, now I get it,” Maria said. “If I want to have an abundant life, I have to get it from God, not Jessica, right?”
“Exactly,” her mom said. “Only God can be a constant source of life for you. If you trust God to be your best friend, He will never let you down.”
“Wow! I didn’t know the Bible talked about watering flowers,” Maria said. “I’m going to ask God for abundant life like that green plant. Now, let’s move the brown plant closer to the hose.” Her mom laughed, and they went to get the shovel.
Only God can be our source of abundant life.
» How am I depending on people to be my source of abundant life at church, home, or school?
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