Happy are those who find wisdom, and those who get understanding, for her income is better than silver, and her revenue better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called happy. Proverbs 3:13–18
Wisdom, understanding, silver, gold, jewels — all you desire — and a long life are all in your right hand. In your left hand are riches and honor. Imagine all of these as the branches of a tree. It would be a pleasantly shaped tree, all balanced with leaves, flowers, and fruit. Completing the tree is the trunk through which flows what feeds the tree. It stabilizes the way in which the tree grows.
The psalmist reminds us that God has created all of life to function correctly. Yet our lives have gone awry. There is no peace. Each part of life is at war with every other part. The answer is not more wealth, more power, or more weapons. It is not in some being smarter than others. The answer is in reprioritizing our lives and focusing on the very things that truly matter. So we begin with the question: How do the parts of our lives work together to glorify God? For in the glorifying, our lives — and those lives around us — find healing.
Lord God, in this time of Lent, help us to understand the peacefulness of life that is found in the mercy and love of the cross, the tree upon which Jesus was crucified. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.