It’s amazing how deep and wide a tree’s root system is. We appreciate the beauty, shade, or fruit that a tree provides, but we almost never think about what happens unobserved, below ground. As constantly, slowly, and imperceptibly roots reach down and out, drinking nutrients and water necessary to facilitate growth and health with the strength to lift sidewalks and crack driveways.
It reminds me of an old Rich Mullins song*, “Down at Johnson’s Creek the trees grow tall like a man who feeds his soul on Your word.”
As our world has been turned upside down, we’ve handled it in a lot of different ways: sometimes through avoidance or denial, anger or fault finding. Sometimes we’ve tried to seize control, like a child holding on white-knuckled to a car steering wheel on an Autotopia ride, unaware that he’s not actually driving. We’ve escaped through eating or exercise, projects around the house, or watching endless hours of Netflix or YouTube videos. As we’ve sunk our roots these last months into nutrient void soils, how sick have our hearts and spirits become?
It’s time to dig in. How will we possibly weather the coming storms if we don’t? Let’s take this opportunity to turn away from wasting time, to turn away from escaping discomfort, from trying to be in control & from being unloving. And let’s instead turn to God. Let us press on to know Him as Hosea 6:3 says, “So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and He will come to us like the rain. Like the spring rain watering the earth.” Let’s spend some quality time each day studying the Bible, reflecting on what God says through it and asking Him how we should obey. If you are looking for a place to start this week, try slowly reading through Psalm 119 & think about what each verse means before you move on to the next. Then read through it all again, asking God how He wants you to apply it. Let’s become the people who consistently, slowly and persistently dig our roots deep into God & His word, so our hearts and spirits grow healthy and our lives produce the fruit of love, peace, joy, patience, perseverance, kindness, gentleness, self control, goodness and faithfulness.
*”With the Wonder” from Winds of Heaven, Stuff of Earth 1988.