(By Rachel Joyce)
“Let your roots grow down into him [Christ], 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” (Col 2:7).
“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. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God” (Eph 3:17-19).
When I look at our front yard, I’m reminded of the importance of roots. A few years ago we wanted to cut down the tree which takes up quite a bit of our front yard. Its roots had caused unsightly ridges in our lawn and they were lifting the blacktop of our driveway in places. But the city refused our request for the permit, so we decided to build up the lawn and put a few plants around the tree to make it look a little nicer. Bryan hauled load after load of soil in, fixed the lawn, and built a little retaining wall on the side. Then we dug up an overgrown hosta plant from the backyard, split it into equal pieces and planted them around the tree. Each hosta piece received the same nutrients—root booster to encourage root growth at the time of transplanting and then regular slow-release fertilizer every 3 months during spring and summer.
Although most of the hostas are lush and full, one looks pathetic. Because there are so many wide tree roots under it, the hosta’s roots cannot grow down deep into the soil and draw up the nourishment it needs. The city warned us not to mess with the roots of the tree or we’d be fined, so the little hosta still struggles to survive.
When I water it, I think of how essential it is that my own roots grow down deeply in Jesus and in His love. If my faith is going to be strong, if I’m going to have the strength I need to endure the “hard stuff” of life, if I’m going to truly experience the love of Christ and be made complete with all the fullness of God’s life and power, then my roots need to reach ever more deeply into my Lord, who is love itself.
We are living in tumultuous and alarming times. Fears rise and dangers threaten, but we do have a firm foundation. Our God has promised to be with us; regardless of what we face, He will never leave us. His love is unfailing and His sovereignty is sure. We need to cling to both if we are going to remain standing. His unlimited grace is there for us, but we need to receive it so we have the strength to endure and to bloom for Him. May God help us to do so for His honor and glory.