A root problem
Spring is here! New life abounds! The Grass is green, birds are chirping, trees are budding, flowers are sprouting, and that scent of clean, crisp, freshness fills the air.
This spring our family starts the season with the purchase of a fruit tree to replace one that was lost during a winter ice storm.
Reflecting on the events that led to its loss, I am soberly reminded that it could all be attributed to my actions. In an effort to learn a new skill last year, I took a weedeater around the yard, without even realizing it, I cut the bark across one side of our beautiful tree. As weeks passed I thought we were in the clear, our crop was abundant and more delicious than ever. From the outside looking in, our tree was perfect. Months later however, the storm hit, the branches became lined with ice, and the wind raged. The weight of the ice, and the force of the wind became more than the tree could bear, and our tree gave way and laid itself over on its side. Thinking maybe we could stake it up, and it might take root again, I made a call to a local tree nursery. The kind gentleman on the phone let me know that considering the age of the tree, there was nothing we could do, its fall was due to a root problem.
Basic tree knowledge teaches us that roots are a vital part of any plant. They are responsible for carrying water and nutrients to the rest of the plant, without a healthy root system, a plant cannot survive. Much like the roots of a plant, Jesus teaches in the Parable of the Sower of their necessity in the lives of His people.
Take time and read this parable found in Matthew 13.
In these scriptures we find a farmer out sowing seed, with three scenarios laid out, I want to draw our attention to the following:
Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7
The farmer in this parable is Jesus and the seed is His word. The situations laid out here are scenarios we see played out in the lives of others, and at times can experience ourselves.
In the example above He speaks of people that like my tree, look right on the outside, they appear to grow spiritually, and even seem to be producing good works yet underneath it all, the roots haven’t stretched deep enough, His word hasn’t been allowed to transform in the way it should, and when the elements of life happen, they become like the plants in this scripture and their faith topples over, and they whither away.
In Colossians chapter 2, Paul warns the colossians of the dangers of such a problem. Specifically in Chapter 2:7 he states that we are to be…
Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
Being rooted is necessary for a lasting walk with Christ, yet we can be left to wonder how do I become rooted? To answer that question, we turn our attention back to growing a plant.
1) You find the perfect place to plant with just the right amount of sun, and good dirt.
2) You dig your hole, and cover the roots with dirt.
3) You water your plant.
As time goes on the roots begin to grow and spread. At this point, the plant becomes rooted in the new soil, and begins to thrive.
Now, back to Paul’s statement about being rooted, how do we become rooted in God’s word? It is much the same as a plant really.
1) You plant yourself by reading His word.
2) You cover your existing roots through prayer. You simply talk to Him. No need for huge words, or long drawn out poetic speeches, you simply speak from your heart as you would to your closest family member or friend.
3) You get the nutrients you need through meditating on His word. Take time to think, reflect, and be still. This allows your roots to begin to spread deep growing in Him.
Following these steps allows His word to become alive in you so that when the storms of life hit (which they most certainly will) and you find yourself likened to my tree and wounded by an outsider, or facing temptation, you become sick, or your struggling with your plan and God’s plan not matching up…those roots you have tended, and spent time growing, those roots are what will allow you to stand firm unmoved, and unshaken, able to emerge from the storm still standing, and stronger than ever.
Getting to that point of strength is a process though, just as it is for a plant to become rooted in new soil. Developing a rooted relationship with Jesus is every bit intentional requiring patience, time, and tending…all actions left up to you, giving you a decision to make…make that first step today…Choose Him.