Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Thought for Sunday: How Deep Are Your Roots?

Greeting, All! Yep, I've been absent for a bit. Tomorrow, I'll fill you in. But today, I'd like to share a devotion I wrote over at Inkwell Inspirations last month. Enjoy and be blessed!

How Deep Are Your Roots?

When my husband and I decided to move our family to Las Vegas, we knew a lot of things about the weather. We knew it was pretty hot in the summer (112, anyone?) We knew it got pretty cool in the winter (we've had snow twice since we moved here). But what we didn't know was how incredibly windy it can get.

Maybe it's because Vegas is essentially one big valley, but the wind can swoop through with surprising velocity. Earlier this year, we had one of our wild and crazy storms. The kind with winds up to sixty miles an hour. The kind that makes the window blinds shake and shimmy, even though none of the windows are open. That's the kind of wind that almost always does damage. 

Because of the lack of water in the desert, tree roots remain fairly shallow. So when a wind comes up, there's not a whole lot to hang on to. Of course, the news reports that night were full of images of downed trees. Imagine my surprise when I walked out of my apartment the next morning to find a huge tree uprooted right outside my window. Thankfully, it fell in an open space and missed the building (angels working overtime, perhaps). But when I saw the roots, I ran back inside and grabbed my camera. This was just too good to miss.

As you can see, there's some kind of landscape material draped over the roots. That started out under the gravel as a weed deterrent. But now, take a look at the roots themselves. Those are pretty shallow roots for a tree that tall.

Remember that song, "Deep and Wide"? It's about a river, but the phrase applies to roots, too. When roots run deep and wide, the tree is anchored. When storms come, as storms always do, the tree has a foundation to stand against them.

With all this talk about roots and water and storms, I'm sure you can see where I'm going. We feed our spirits when we dig deep into God's Word, spend time with Him in prayer, and join in community worship. All these things extend our root system. They ground us, give us stability. And when the storms of life come, we may be battered and bruised, but by golly, we still stand.

When I was in my early twenties, I went through a nasty period of backsliding. Seriously bad stuff. But even when I was at my lowest, I knew God was there. (I kept pushing Him away, you see, and you can't push away somebody who doesn't exist.) Despite the way I was living at the time, years of praying and studying the Bible and singing in the church choir just wouldn't go away. My foundation was solid, even though I was building a house of cards on top of it. And when the house fell down, the foundation remained, ready and waiting for the Master Builder to put up something solid and lasting. Which He has.

Okay, I am now officially guilty of that writerly sin of mixing metaphors. But you get the point. And just in case, here's a word from Jesus to cement the whole thing:
“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”
Matthew 7:24-27 (NLT)
How about you? Is your foundation strong? Are your roots deep? Have you gone through a time in your life when storms battered you, but you came out the other side? I think we all have. God bless you today as you live for Him and stand tall!

Photo credits:
Fallen tree - Jennifer AlLee
Palm tree - Morguefile -

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