23 Mar 2018 Growing deep roots
I’ve always been a visual learner. You can tell me about 10 times how to do something, and I will still have questions, but show me once and I usually comprehend. So it comes as no surprise to me that often God places visible, tangible ways to get a point across to this beloved daughter of His.
Last October, my husband and I made a trip to Ocean Springs, Miss., to celebrate our grandbaby’s birthday. It’s always a nice annual getaway to visit with my step-daughter April and her husband Todd. This last trip they told us how all the hurricanes had created a big storm surge close to where they lived and caused quite a bit of damage.
Being just a short 10-minute drive away, Will and I took a trip to the ocean edge to look. I remember the ocean looking so beautiful and peaceful, yet just weeks before, the waters had left a trail of mass destruction behind. As we were leaving, I spotted a tree in front of us, uprooted and laying on its side.
I took a photo of it and instantly I felt the presence of God revealing a word to me, asking me were my roots deep or shallow? This image here, this is why God wants us to have deep roots. Colossians 2:7 says, “Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”
Here in front of me was this massive tree with strong branches and leaves, and had I seen it weeks before standing upright, I would have just seen another tree. But this God-given view showed me the “shallow roots” that allowed the tree to tumble during the storm. Often we are like that, from the outside looking in we seem so put together and so strong, but if we are not deep rooted in Christ, I can almost guarantee you that the first strong winds of trouble that blow your way will knock you right over, exposing your shallow roots for all to see.
I’m often guilty of caring more about what others think of me than what God calls me to be, after all I am only human and certainly very flawed. These are the moments my roots remain shallow. They grow, but not in the direction intended.
Thankfully, I do serve a wonderful and gracious God who loves me and allows me the opportunity to show his goodness and light through all my broken pieces. It’s during this process that my roots grow the way God intended — deep. As I draw closer to the word and the truth, my roots become stronger, and I care less about pleasing others and more about serving God. I’m reminded that often what’s underground is far deeper and more important than what’s on top for others to see. It’s good to spend time in the word and let God reveal what’s growing down inside of you.
Ephesians 3:17-18 says, “Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high and how deep his love is.”
I read a quote by Christine Caine that says, “Sometimes when you’re in a dark place you think you’ve been buried, but actually you’ve been planted.” I’ve learned that’s one of the best times to start growing those roots deep.