A nasty storm had blown through. Lots of thunder and lightning. Buckets of wetness. The Twitter feed from our local fire department alerted us to the dangers of high winds and encouraged the community to hunker down at home until the storm passed.
The next morning our grass was vibrant green from the watering, but the yard was a disaster. Leaves and sticks were a blanket. I grabbed coffee and caught up on a few tweets that the fire department had sent out following the storm.
One of the tweeted photo-updates gave me chills. In the middle of a neighborhood just a few miles away, a tree had been uprooted by the strong winds and it annihilated a car. Crushed it to scrap metal. I read the updates and thanked God that no lives were lost. The car was parked on the side of a street and contained no passengers when the winds blew hard and the tree did its damage.
Were the roots of the tree too flimsy?
Were they too shallow?
Were they rotten or weak?
The winds of that storm had a jolting impact. They ripped the roots right from the ground that held them. I can’t help but see the parallel in life and I wonder . . .
How deep are my roots?
How healthy are they?
Roots are vital. They store nourishment and increase stability. They’re essential for me to stand strong.
I pour a fresh mug of motivation and consider the state of my heart. The state of my roots. Because Lord knows that storms come, and winds blow. In fact, I’m writing from the eye of a hurricane of sorts. Many of my friends and loved ones are smack dab in the center of one as well. Some are being uprooted and some are standing strong.
What makes the difference?
As I contemplate, I lean back and furrow my brow, fully aware of my shallow tendencies. I like life to be comfortable. Seriously. I don’t even like camping. Too much ick and sweat. Too many bugs and noises that freak me out in the dark. And no air conditioning! Who would choose that? Anyhoo…
I’ve learned I have to be careful when it comes to car-crushing times of faith because my natural desires for comfort can far too easily lead me to resist and resent the winds instead of running with them. Just enough showers to water the flowers, please, God!
Storms are a reality for all of us.
Jesus told us we would have them and that we do not need to be uprooted by them because He is the source of peace and overcoming that we need (John 16:33).
I don’t want to be a woman of shallow faith.
I want to be a woman of strong, stable, deeply rooted faith.
So, I ask myself: how can I position my faith-roots to grow?
I mull it over and open up the truth manual…
I see that Paul wrote this to the early church, “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” (Colossians 2:6-7)
And it occurs to me that the secret to having roots that are deep and strong is found in that little phrase above that repeats itself twice in those verses: IN HIM.
Yes. In Christ.
In Christ alone my depth will grow. Jesus promises I can do anything according to the will of the Father and get through anything when I stick with Him (John 15:1-17). My roots grow in that secret place of abiding with Jesus.
In Christ alone I’m able to weather the fiercest of winds and the scariest of storms.
You are too. You’ve got this, friend… whatever you’re going through… because He’s got you.
I love the depth and resilience David displays in Psalm 138. He’d gone through some intense difficulties yet chose to be grateful. “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes, with your right hand you save me.” (Psalm 138:7)
Women of deeply rooted faith give thanks to God not just after their storms pass, but in the midst of the downpour.
So, let’s make it a point to “walk in Him” today.
To yield our little life-branches to the Vine. To seek nourishment, strength, and leading from Jesus. To recognize that this world is not our home and our storms do not have the power to uproot us when we cling to God, our Strength.
Thank You for the reminder that the strength I need is found in You. Please grow my faith so that I can stand strong in the windiest of struggles.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
FOR YOUR REFLECTION AND RESPONSE
On a scale of 1-10, how deep are your roots right now? How deep would you like them to be? What would it take to get you from where you are to where you’d like to be?
Grab your journal and write about it. Not a journal girl? Leave a comment or prayer response on the wall of my blog.
Digging deep with you, friend.
Have a beautiful, grace-filled day!
PS. There are so many voices vying for your attention. I get it. It’s hard to shut the world down. The Graceologie with Gwen Smith podcast episodes will help you move from distracted to directed.
Directed to hope. Directed to truth. Directed to clarity. Directed to grace. Directed to Jesus. Click here to listen now.