Rising Up, Deeply Rooted
How can I expect to be effective at loving the precious people around me if I don’t root myself straight into the source of Love Himself? How can I hope to bring any sense of comfort or joy or healing to those around me if I never stop and take the time to receive and soak in the comfort and joy and healing that God has offered me, too?
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We returned home after a week away, and my zucchini plants looked odd. Despite the fact that a friend of ours had come by every day to feed our animals and tend to our garden, one of my plants, which had been green and thriving when I left town a week prior, was now a deep yellow and clearly dying off.
When I stepped into the garden box to inspect further, I realized the cause of this rapid decline: as I set my foot into the dirt, it sank deep into a gopher tunnel that was just beneath the surface of the dirt. Apparently, our ever-frequenting gopher friend decided to dig a maze right under the top layer of dirt, chewing away and destroying the roots of some of my favorite plants in the process.
Darn gopher. Looks like we won’t get any more veggies from this garden box this summer.
As I ponder the plight of my newly uprooted plant, I can’t help but be reminded of Colossians 2:6-7
“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.”
The Amplified Version puts it this way: “Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in [union with] Him [reflecting His character in the things you do and say—living lives that lead others away from sin], having been deeply rooted [in Him] and now being continually built up in Him and [becoming increasingly more] established in your faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing in it with gratitude.”
Just as my zucchini plant cannot produce it’s proper harvest without deep and healthy roots, so I cannot conjure up healthy relationships, nor effectively nourish those around me, without being deeply rooted in God and all the truth and grace and wisdom He has to offer me.
The fact is, no matter how much I want to just go go go and do do do and love love love the plethora of aching souls around me— I cannot do much good for them if I am not first taking the time to ground myself in God’s truth. I cannot offer hope to this dark and hurting world if I myself have not experienced the true miracle of Hope in my relationship with God. I cannot offer pure and lasting love if I myself feel like I’m running on empty.
I cannot expect to have any real wisdom or any real peace or even any real energy to help those around me if I do not reserve space in my day to spend quality time with my Creator, reading His timeless truth, and talking with Him about all that troubles me.
We are living in a dark night, as we’ve been talking about for the past several weeks, and if I hope to bring any good to this troubled, broken world I had better make sure I’ve got what I need for my journey.
Like a healthy garden, I, too, need to have deep roots that lead me to nutrient-rich soil. I also need sunshine, proper hydration, and, as I have been reminded of this week, an adequate pest-deterrent strategy.
- I need deep roots– I need to dig deep into God’s Word so that I have something to act as my Truth Compass. So often things “feel right” but they may not be good for me. Just because I’ve heard something my whole life does not mean it’s true. Just because something feels good or logical or comes out of the mouth of an influential, charismatic person doesn’t necessarily make it healthy or beneficial for me. I need to make sure I am well acquainted with what God’s Word says about God, about life, and about my own identity and worth. That needs to be of top priority in my life.
- I need water– No plant can live without regular hydration; likewise, no relationship can live without regular doses of quality time. I need to spend consistent quality time with the One I believe has the power to both transform and equip me for what He is calling me to.
- I need sunshine– I need to set aside time to just bask gratefully in the warmth and comfort that God’s Holy Spirit has to offer me. I need to worship Him and I need to set aside time to express my deep gratitude for who He is and all He has done in my life.
- And I need to get rid of pests that might be working their way in, trying to destroy any good work that has occurred in my life. Just like gophers threaten our gardens, so life’s challenges, distractions and brokenness threaten our stability and effectiveness in life. Things like busyness, blatant lies (from inside our own heads or from other people or our culture), and lack of authentic, transparent communication with God and others are just a few of the culprits responsible for much of the destruction in our lives. While we cannot prevent “normal life” from happening, we do need to be aware of these nuisances and do whatever we can do to prevent them from wreaking too much havoc on our lives.
Let’s tend the garden of our hearts, friends. Let’s be mindful of what we need, mindful of what kinds of pests are out to deter or destroy us, and let’s grow up strong and stay strong so that we can be the most tenacious, bravest, most love-filled people we can be to this aching, dark world we are living in. Let us allow God’s light to shine on us as we gratefully acknowledge and cling to Him and His truth, and let us rise up and do our part in this blink of time we’ve been gifted with on the earth.
What do you need to do to cultivate deep roots in God? What action steps do you need to take to stay hydrated? Which “methods” work best for you to connect with God to worship Him and show Him gratitude? Music? Art? Photography? Writing? Praying out loud? Telling a friend?
What pests might be trying to make their way towards you – to distract you or destroy the good that God is trying to bloom in you?
Please share your journey in the comment section below.