Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Deep Roots, Strong Trees

"Our roots only go as deep as they have to..."

I heard myself say this to a friend as we were chatting about the challenges of not having our usual supports of Bible study groups, etc., due to the irregular routines of summertime. I couldn't stop thinking about it.

Gathering together to encourage one another (Hebrews 10:25) is something we're instructed to do. It's an essential and wonderful part of being in a spiritual family. However, it's also easy to get used to slurping up the "water" that everyone brings and we're not so readily aware of the need for our own roots to go deep, deep into relationship with God. Trees with deep roots can better withstand storms and produce more fruit regardless of poor weather conditions.

Interrupted schedules can reveal the need. Sometimes our struggles are so great that the comfort of our friends isn't enough to sustain us.
The not-so-obvious blessing in this is that, in this place, there's great potential for something truly marvelous to happen. "If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you, says the Lord. I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes." (Jeremiah 29:13-14a)

Challenging times can leave us wanting to sink into despair or self-pity at the very time that we need to rouse ourselves to wholehearted seeking.

Seek with the passion of David: I earnestly search for you! My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water.
(Ps. 63:1)

Seek with the determination of Jacob: I will not let you go until you bless me! (Gen 32:26)

Seek with the desperation of Job: Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him! (Job 13:15)


But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat
or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.
Jeremiah 17:7-8