Deepen My Roots

That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.

The trees of the Lord are well watered, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.

Psalm 1:3; 104:16

Last year our big Ash tree in the front yard went to tree heaven - between the fall of 2017 and spring of 2018 the Emerald Ash Borer turned a perfectly healthy tree into sickly corpse, so we put it out of its misery and had it cut down. In its place came two new trees - a river birch we paid to have planted, and a weeping cherry I picked up for my wife that we planted ourselves. With the extremely dry, hot end to summer and fall, followed by a brutally cold, long winter, we were a bit concerned about the health of our trees as spring approached. Thankfully we didn’t need to worry - the root system of both trees was firmly established, and right now both are covered with green buds. Whew!

I’ve always loved the imagery in the Bible, especially when it talks about trees with roots doing deep to its source of nourishing water. Our faith is much like a tree - when our roots go deep down into Christ, our faith will grow and be strong, able to endure the storms and changing seasons of life. When our roots are shallow - embedded in the things of this world instead of Christ, we wither up and die (much like the grass I try to seed in our front yard every spring!!!).

Joni Eareckson Tada talks about trees and roots in her devotional “Deepen My Roots.” She shares the story of a time when her husband Ken hired an arborist team to tend to some ailing trees in their yard. As the workers put the nutrients into the soil, Joni tried to imagine the roots in the darkness, searching for the nourishment they so desperately needed. When it was all done, she asked herself, “…was it my imagination, or did those trees look just a little more satisfied and content?"

We. Need. Jesus. We need to be rooted and established in Christ. I think Joni hit the nail on the head in her summary:

The Bible often refers to us as “trees” of the Lord. And like a tree, our roots are in Christ Jesus. That life is hidden in Him, deep and unseen. When we feed on Christ—take Him at His Word, repent, obey, draw on His life—the Spirit of Jesus then transforms us. We change and grow into sturdy “oaks of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:3) and fragrant “cedars of Lebanon.” So sink your roots deep!

If you’re planting a garden this spring, take a moment to ponder the similarities between those seeds and your faith. A garden won’t grow without proper roots and nourishment; neither can our faith. Let’s put our roots down deep into Christ!