I went on an adventure with a friend of mine Saturday morning. We were on the hunt for wide open spaces that would make a perfect backdrop for my newest CD cover. Living in Orange County, California I never knew there were open spaces to be found, but my photographer friend Jen knew exactly where to look. She took me to a beautiful nature reserve near Coto de Caza and we started exploring. It was just a few days into Spring and the hills were blanketed in bright green, with splashes of sunny yellow. As we hiked around I noticed a canopy of trees that looked inviting. We walked under the umbrella of beautiful green leaves to find a lush, shaded meadow with a dry creek bed through it, and something caught my eye…
At the edge of the creek’s shore there was a tree. Not unusual when you’re walking through a meadow, but there was something unusual about this particular tree. The earth beneath it had been washed away when there had actually been water running through the creek. Half of the tree roots had now become a brown, scraggly archway suspended above the creek bed, while the rest of the roots were still firmly planted in the earth. Not only was the root system beautiful, but it intrigued me how the tree was still standing with half of its root system exposed. It dawned on me that it had little to do with the tree roots that were exposed. What was more important were the roots still buried, clinging tight, and diving deep into the soil.
There’s a beautiful similarity between that tree and our lives. So often in this adventurous life following Jesus, we can feel like we’re on a cliffhanger wondering what’s next, and how will we process through it. Our exposed “roots” make us feel vulnerable and frightened wondering if we will be hurt, how we will be hurt, and how long the pain will last. Meanwhile, we can often forget that while some of our life feels exposed and defenseless, we still have deep roots that are grasping tight to the soil that nourishes and sustains us.
When the storms of life have come and eaten away at the soil we used to be so comfortable in, we have a choice to make. When the bottom drops out, we can choose to either let everything else go down with it, or we can grip tightly to the ground we still have. We can choose to dig deeper, letting our roots sink deep into the truths of God’s word and the promises He has made to us. His word says that He is not a man, and He doesn’t lie. (Numbers 23:19). He says He has good for you, and He WILL make good on that promise. So, while we feel like parts of our life are cold and shivering and left open to the elements, we can trust that God hasn’t stopped nourishing us, and loving us so very perfectly.
Our precious, loving Father in Heaven hasn’t left you on your own, He hasn’t abandoned you. If you will dig deep like this tree, He will not only keep you existing, He will cause you to THRIVE, to grow beyond your own expectations. People who see you walking through the struggles you’re enduring will say “how are you still full of joy…how are you still standing…how are you still OK?” When they ask, you will be able to point them back to the God that has held you, comforted you and nursed you back to health.
Dig deep my friend, with the roots you still have knowing that God is preserving and creating in you a beautiful strength that has to be seen to be understood.