ROOTS THAT GROW DEEP
Local tree removal companies advised our HOA that because of the overwhelming demand for their services, they would not be available to remove the 60-plus fallen pine trees in our subdivision until February of 2019! Fortunately, one company agreed to remove trees that had blocked roads and driveways in our community of homes. As we marveled at the enormity of the storm's devastation, my husband and I never imagined that we could be caught in the aftermath of the event.
December 26, 2018, we were traveling through the Tennessee Mountains when an accident brought traffic to a standstill. As we sat on the narrow highway with pine trees bordering each side, we waited for the accident to be cleared. Within moments of stopping, I noticed movement off to the right of our car. At first I was puzzled, then suddenly the ground gave way and a large pine tree came crashing onto our car. As I tried to process the shocking event, I noticed that the entire tree, roots and all, had come out of the ground!
The tree was too big and too heavy to lift off the car, so we inched forward to escape from under it. With each inch we moved, there was a loud grating sound, causing us to believe that damage would not be minimal.
Traffic began moving, and eventually we reached a rest stop to assess the damage. Much to our amazement, not a dent or scratch could be found!
We always pray for God's sovereign protection over our vehicle and us before we travel short or long distances. That day, He answered our prayer beyond anything we could have imagined, because "He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us" (Ephesians 3:20).
The tree incident gave me a very visual understanding of what happens when our spiritual roots are not deeply anchored. "Therefore, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him, established in the faith as you were taught and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophies and empty deception, which are based on human tradition and the spiritual forces of the world rather than on Christ" (Colossians 2:7).
Roots are anchors that require water, oxygen, and nutrient-rich soil. If these conditions are met, roots can grow to depths reaching more than 20 feet deep. If this criteria is not met, a tree without deep, healthy roots becomes unsustainable. Likewise, if we are not rooted and anchored in God's Word, our faith will never sustain us.
Jesus spoke a parable about why seed must be sown in good, rich, nutrient-based soil. "A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and were trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. Some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold" (Luke 8:5-8) ESV).
"The seed is the Word of God. The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the Word from their hearts (soil), so that they may not believe and be saved. The ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the Word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away. As for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way, they are choked by the cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and their fruit does no mature. As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the Word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience" (Luke 8:9-15 ESV).
We live in a time when there is great deception and distortion of truth. Right is wrong and wrong is right; evil and sin abound. The Bible warns us that in the last days, lawlessness will abound and the love of many will grow cold (Matthew 24:9-12). However, God's truths anchor the soul and prevent us from being ensnared by the enemy. If the heart, like the soil, is not rich with His Word, then it becomes weakened and contaminated with worldly ideals, beliefs, and falsehoods.
We must ask ourselves if our faith is rooted and grounded in God's Word, so that we can discern truth from lies? Are we ready to stand firm and not be easily moved by a worldly doctrine that approves of all sin and makes allowances for it? Will our faith carry us through the storms of life?
We cannot have a sprinkling of God's Word and expect to be secure in our faith. Like trees, we need to be firmly rooted and grounded in the good soil of our heart where we have planted the life-giving seed of God's Word. Then when difficulties come, we will not be uprooted, but we will remain strong and full of faith as we stand on the truth of God' Word.
If we have discernment, wisdom, and knowledge through the Holy Spirit and the truth of God's Word firmly planted in our hearts, then we will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat (difficulty) comes; its leaves are always green (strong and vigorous). "It has no worries in a year of drought (lack) and never fails to bear fruit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control" (Jeremiah 17:8; Galatians 5:22-23). God desires that we, His people, strive towards this goal, so that we may walk in bold and uncompromising faith.
PRAYER: FATHER, I look to You and Your Word to satisfy my soul. Help me to plant Your Word firmly in my heart, for Your Word is powerful and sufficient to satisfy all my needs. Let it nourish and encourage my mind, body, spirit, and soul, so that my roots will run deep and my faith will remain strong and secure. In Jesus name, amen.
NOTE: God has been daily impressing upon me the urgency for His people to know the truths within the pages of His Word. Even greater deceptions are coming and unless we know what God's Word says, then we will be open and vulnerable to those deceptions, for false christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect (Matthew 24:24).