Have you ever felt weak? Maybe like a tree whose roots aren’t that deep, struggling to survive? And if a storm comes, you would be shaken and knocked down? Unable to be thrive through the wind and the rain? As we all know, roots are vital to the health of a tree. They provide nutrients to a tree, and anchor it in place. Trees only thrive when they absorb enough water through its roots. And coupled with that, a tree must absorb enough water to grow.
There are numerous references to roots in scripture, and many of those convey the analogy of strength in the faith.
Roots and Faith.
One of those verses is Job 14: 7-9.
“At least there is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail. Its roots may grow old in the ground and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth shoots like a plant…..
Oh, how it can feel like a reflection of reality. This verse focuses a lot on what happens below the surface. Roots. Gnarled. Messy. No hope in sight. BUT, even at the first whiff of water it comes to life and grows. …
But I read something interesting the other day. And it is important because water doesn’t just help a tree grow.
“When we pave over our landscapes, and replace deep rooted native plants with shallow rooted turf grasses, we inevitably make flooding events worse”
I got to really thinking about this and our faith. If we have surface level faith, like the shallow rooted turf, the rains will drown us, because our roots aren’t deep enough to be an anchor for our soul, or to absorb the amount of water that a storm can bring.
In short: What is meant to grow us, would actually harm us.
Roots that are deep sustain a tree. So if our roots in faith are deep, we are more anchored in the soil, and we will absorb more living water. When the storms come, we can withstand them better, because we are more secured, and stronger in Christ.
The deeper we are in Christ, the more we will be prepared and able to weather a storm. The less we will be swayed by the winds, and the less our branches will break.
And the deeper we are in Christ and abide in His love, and the more we stand on His promises, the more our hope will grow.
Hope is a natural response to being in God’s word.
Romans 15: 4 says, For everything that was written in the past, was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures, and the encouragement they provide, we might have hope.
This means that hope is a natural response to being in the Word. Troubling circumstances are going to be harder if we are not rooted in Christ, because other things will take root. Fear, doubt, insecurities… false hopes and promises that disappoint.
God’s word is an encouragement to us, and reveals who God really is. It teaches us about the hope that doesn’t disappoint, and what it means that God really is working all things for His glory and our good.
Trees with deep roots provide protection.
Last week I took my friend’s daughter to a flower farm by their house. There, we found a large Weeping European Beech Tree, and as the hot sun came out, we found ourselves finding enjoying the coolness of branches that seemed to protect us in the moment. It felt refreshing. I was reminded of another time that I had to seek shelter under trees.
I was on a large, open hill, and a couple friends and I were laying on some wood benches near the top. It was a beautiful day, until the clouds rolled in, and we found out hair quickly getting full of static. It didn’t take long for us to realize that lightning was about to strike, and we better run for shelter. We ran towards the woods where trees sheltered us as the storm passed.
But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.Psalm 5:11
As we enjoyed the coolness and protection of the trees, and were basically hidden under the branches and leaves, I was thinking of God’s protection over us. How He provides a place of shading and protection from harm, the heat, the storms. Everything that goes on around us really. He is the safe place that we can go, to find all we need in all weather. Heat or storm.
What are the 3 benefits of being rooted in Christ?
When we abide, or are rooted, in Christ, we are safe in His love. Despite what goes on around us, we are secure in His embrace, and will grow to be stronger and more secured. And as we remain in His word, hope will grow.
So my hope for you is that you have a hunger for His word, and that you grow by His strength, so that you may have the hope that doesn’t disappoint.