Maybe you are searching among the branches, for what only appears in the roots – Rumi
Have you ever looked at a tree and thought, “Now those are some gorgeous roots”? Probably not, unless of course you are a dendrologist (a fancy term for someone who studies trees). Generally speaking, we tend to focus in on the parts of the tree we can actually see – the leaves, branches and trunk.
But did you know the root system of a tree is a key indicator of its overall health? Yes, long before a tree shows distress on the outside, its root system reveals the true story.
For example, in a drought, the tree’s root system, which is typically found in the top 3 feet of soil, will begin developing new and deeper roots. These tap roots, as they are called, will grow vertically downward going much deeper than the existing root structure.
Depending on the type of tree, the soil it’s in, and the climate, tap roots can grow up to 30 feet in depth – that’s 10 times greater than the average!
When talking about trees, what’s below the surface is what really matters, and I believe it is very much the same way with us as followers of Christ. The apostle Paul tells us this in Colossians 2:
6 And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. 7 Let your roots grow down into him, 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.
A taproot’s ability to find nourishment deep below the surface will determine whether the tree will have what it needs to continue growing.
Deep Roots = A Strong & Vibrant Life
Does your life seem really hard at this moment? Have recent days, weeks, or months brought challenges you’d never imagined? Have you found yourself wondering if things will ever get easier?
These times of distress, while never easy, offer us an incredible opportunity for rapid growth. When we tap into our our Heavenly Father’s resources, we can thrive during these times of great trial. How exactly do we do this?
John, one of Jesus’s most beloved disciples, gives us a clue in Chapter 7 of his gospel:
…Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! 38 Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” 39 (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him…
Tell me, are you desperately looking for comfort? For answers to your pain? Do you feel weary and exhausted? Or completely parched and aching with the dryness of your own soul?
Have you tried filling your thirst with social media, Netflix binges, constant busyness, sweet treats, wine, excessive exercise, constant travel, business achievements, shopping habits, prescription meds, romance novels, constantly serving at church, striving for perfection, or the next big DIY project, etc… While temporarily fun and exciting on a surface level, all of these things will leave us woefully unsatisfied deep inside.
This is what Jesus himself had to say about our attempts at self-fulfillment:
13 Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” John 4:13-14
Wow, I don’t know about you, but I want to have that fresh, bubbling spring of abundant life within me me ALL THE TIME. But how can we access it? The obvious answer is Jesus, but drinking of his Living Water doesn’t begin and end with a one-time salvation experience.
If a tree’s tap roots stopped growing, then the tree’s ability to nourish itself would be limited. It’s the same with us. Our roots have to keep growing down deeper and deeper, searching out those pools of Living Water and tapping into them. With every new difficulty, we must develop deeper roots.
So how can we as Jesus-loving women stay nourished and vibrant during times of great stress? For starters, we can access our Living Water by spending daily time reading scripture. We talk to him and invite His Spirit to nourish us. We listen for what he is saying to us.
In order to access those deep pools, we must take the time to put down the phone, turn off the TV, and get into our place of quiet where we have room for our soul to breathe. We must drink deeply of God’s Word, every. single. day. We show up fully engaged, anticipating that something we read or hear will strike a resonant chord deep within our spirit. We hang on with him, waiting until we have it.
Then we apply what we’ve learned. We let the truth’s in God’s word instruct the thoughts we entertain and the choices we make throughout each day.
We do this day in and day out. We get up early or stay up late. We use our precious free time because nothing will satisfy more than nourishment from The Living Water.
Much like the tap root of a drought-stricken tree determines its survival, our willingness to tap into God’s word each day will determine whether we can remain vibrant in the face of life’s biggest difficulties.
Is everything above your surface falling apart? We can choose to see this difficulty as an opportunity to develop stronger, deeper roots. As women of great depth, we will pull strength and courage and peace from Jesus, using it to rapidly grow in times of distress. As a result our faith will be stronger, and we will bubble over with thankfulness.
Let your roots grow down into him, 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.
Are you becoming a woman of great depth?
For further study: Throughout scripture the outpouring of God’s presence and blessing is often associated with pools and springs of water. [See Psalm 107:33 & 35, Isaiah 35:7, Isaiah 41:18, Revelation 7:17, Revelation 14:7, Revelation 21:6] Look up these verses and answer this question: How can you create an atmosphere in your own life and heart which invites the blessings of God’s presence?