November 17, 2012

What Does Sustain Us

Psalm 1

Blessed is the one … whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night.
—Psalm 1:1-2


Psalm 1 doesn’t simply warn us of the things that will leave us dry; it points us toward the hidden waters for which we thirst. It points toward finding our delight “in the law of the LORD.”

As a child, I always found this verse puzzling. From my Christian training I knew of the many strange law requirements found in the Old Testament books like Leviticus. I couldn’t imagine anything more frustrating than trying to meditate on all those regulations, much less finding any decent source of life from them.

What I missed was this: in the Bible, living by “the law of the LORD” means living God’s way, or in line with God’s will. Delighting in God’s law means embracing God’s way as good, and drawing from it everything we need in order to thrive.

In John 4 Jesus surprised a woman by offering her a permanent supply of living water. You and I need that water just as badly as she did. Psalm 1 challenges me to be clear on just where I’m looking to provide what I’ll need.

When the drought of a recession threatens to dry up my world, or when the drain of serving others begins to wither me—where will I turn?

There’s only one good way to answer that question, and it’s God.

Lord, we know where we should turn when we face droughts in our lives. Give us a desire for you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Ron Vanderwell

Ron Vanderwell recently became the senior pastor of New Life Church in New Lenox, Illinois. He has been a pastor for 22 years, serving as a church planter for the previous 12 years at The Gathering in Sacramento, California, and before that as a pastor in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ron and his wife, Deb, have three sons: John, Adam, and Jake. Ron shares more of his reflections on “squinting” for God in his blog at

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