Who I want to be

When I was a kid I wanted to grow up to be an NFL running back like Tony Dorsett or an NBA star like Larry Bird. Somehow those goals never materialized.

Have you ever had an idol?

Over time our dreams change, mature, deepen. Hopefully they become more spiritual.

I think at the very beginning of Psalms the writer is describing an ideal person, someone to aspire to be like.

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish (Psalm 1:1-6).

Look at verse 3 carefully: “He is like a tree planted by streams of water . . .”

The psalmist paints a picture of stability, constancy, reliability.

This is the man whose kids and wife can count on him. He does what he says he’s going to do. He keeps his promises, honors his word, stands behind what he says.

This is the man who doesn’t give up when the storms come. He might lose his job, or be burdened by stress, but he keeps his faith. His wife knows she can trust him; he’ll be there.

This is a woman of deep faith. She’s spiritual and prayerful and committed. When her kids think of her they think of stability. She’s strong, godly, and wise.

This is the woman who faces life’s disappointments with courage. She holds the Lord’s hand through the challenges and setbacks and failures. Eventually, inevitably, the wind dies down, and she’s closer to God than ever.

This is who we want to be.

We don’t want a fickle faith, on one day and off the next. We want to be close to God no matter the circumstances.

And the great thing is—that’s exactly what God wants to do in us.

He wants to take our meager faith, our immature efforts, our imperfect offerings, and give us depth. He wants to plant us by the streams of water.

And he’ll do it, but he’ll take his time. Strong trees don’t grow overnight.

But that’s who we want to be, and that’s who—by God’s grace—we’ll become.

In all that we do, we’ll prosper.

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