Strength like a Sycamore Tree

Written by Plant With Purpose on January 31, 2012 in General

by Becky Rosaler

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.
Jeremiah 17:7-8

California’s varying terrain creates an assortment of ecosystems full of native plants.  Right behind the Plant With Purpose office in San Diego, you can find a small tributary of our local watershed that supports a riparian ecosystem.  

One of my favorite trees can be found outside our doors, the California Sycamore!  Their substantial presence often signifies that you are near streams of water, their roots tapping deep into the ground to get the elements that sustain its life.  In the warmer months when sycamores send out their green leaves, shade from the sun and cooler air are guaranteed to be found under the large leaves.  Their branches provide home to birds and small animals while the leaf litter is a haven for decomposers.  If there is plenty of water in the stream, one tree on a hot day is said to be able to transpire (loss of water through stomata) a couple of hundred gallons of water back into the atmosphere, creating its own little microclimate.  

The prophet Jeremiah equates one who trusts in the Lord to being like a tree planted by the water.  The sycamore comes to mind when I read this verse, a strong presence in our landscape.

As we continue to plant trees around the world, we are seeing ecosystems restored and trust in the Lord being established.  These individuals are becoming sturdy trees that characterize a healthy environment, ready to withstand the hardships of life.     

For instance, one of our farmers from the village of Barye, Haiti, Ms. Cyvadier Duclas said, “Thanks to Plant With Purpose, I’ve come to know that if my land is protected, it can start to produce food again.  I now know that trees protect the soil, trees make rain fall, and in general, trees are life.  When I plant a tree, I take care of it.” 

Since the people of Barye joined Plant With Purpose over ten years ago, they have benefitted from increased incomes, improved health, and greater food security. Families like Ms. Duclas’ are growing nutritious food on their restored land and selling the extra in town. Parents are able to send their children to school and the entire community is being transformed.

Take a minute today to appreciate the trees around you.  Let them remind you to trust the Lord where you’re at and to lift up the individuals that are being transformed though the sowing of our work and the lives being touched by Plant With Purpose.  

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