Holding Tightly

rootsI feel so blessed to be able to live so close to the ocean.  When time allows, I love sitting and viewing its expansive beauty. It’s one of my favorite pastimes. God’s wonderful creation always points me to Christ and as I sit and meditate on its stunning beauty, I am often reminded and feel the presence of the amazing creator of it all.

There is this one place in particular that I really love going to.  It’s a small paved road just big enough for a car to drive down. It takes you from the top of the bluff right down to a spot where you are eye level with the ocean. Sometimes from this spot when the waves crash up over the rocks, you can see their enormity and feel the intensity of their power. It’s quite spectacular!

On the path going down to this particular spot, there is this small pine tree growing on top of a mound of earth alongside of the bluff. Every time I go down that road, this particular tree always seems to grab for my attention. Half of the tree’s roots are exposed, and a good part of the ground once surrounding the tree been eroded away by time and the surrounding elements. Quite frankly, I’m always amazed that this little tree is still standing, because from the looks of it, it appears to barely be hanging on.

The tree is all mis-shaped due to the harsh conditions to which it has endured and is not shaped quite like your typical pine tree. (To me it sort of resembles a Japanese Bunsai which is really quite unique). But year after year this small tree continues to withstand the wind and storms that come directly off the ocean and it seems to remain solidly rooted and still flourishing.

There have been many times through out my life that I have felt like this tree, hanging out on the edge of a cliff, wondering if the next storm might take just me out. Often times hardships in life can do this to us. They can wear us down, often leaving us feeling weak or exposed. Kinda like this tree which on the outside seems to barely be hanging on, but underneath the ground, it’s obviously has good roots.

When we take a deeper look at a trees structure, we see it’s the deep root system that keeps them alive and upright. Most trees have a tap-root which grows deep into the soil to provide nutrients and water. Actually the life of most trees begins with a tap root which then grows and provides what is necessary for the trees life and growth. The truth is, when we have Christ as our hope, he is our root system that anchors us into the solid ground of himself.

I think this particular tree reminds me of the passage in Colossians 2:7 which reads . . . Let your roots go down deep into Christ, and let your lives be built on him. I love how in the bible God sometimes God refers to his people as trees. He uses these metaphors to paint a picture for us of deeper spiritual truths.

Just like a tree’s tap-root feeds and sustains life in the tree, so God helps sustain and feed us through His Word. God sparks his life in the believer, and then in order to grow and flourish, we must tap into his life-giving power. We do this by reading his word and getting to know him better and growing in our relationship with him. The bible says that God gives us everything we need for life and Godliness (2 Peter 1:3). He is ALL that is needed and through him we are given the power of the Holy Spirit as our helper and constant companion (John 14:16-17).

When the storms of life come, and they do come, we can stay rooted “In Christ,” and remain standing firm in him because our root system is rooted in His life-sustaining power. When difficulties like broken dreams, unemployment, sickness, or relational difficulties arise, we can choose to either be uprooted by the storm or we can use it as a chance to grow and sink our roots deeper in Christ.

With God, nothing is ever wasted. He can use every difficulty in your life to make you stronger. We can trust him because his word says so (Proverbs 3:5). Growing in Christ is an art of  holding tightly to Christ as we learn to let go of everything else. It’s sinking our tap roots deep in Him so that we remain immovable through the storms. Though often things might not look like what we think they should or turn out like the way we think they would, as we learn to trust God, we can know that he is working all things for our good. We can know that he is working things out according to his perfect plan for us, because he loves us. God wants to prosper us and not to cause harm and to give us hope for our eternal future with Him (Jeremiah 29:11). That is a hope rooted in him, unshakable and firmly planted in His good soil that will stand is ground through the fiercest of storms.

Thank you Jesus for your Goodness to us. Help us sink our roots deeply into you and drink from your life giving water. Thank you that you are our life giver and sustainer. Help us to trust you more fully today by being rooted and established in you. We praise for who you are and all you do. To you be the Glory both now and forever. AMEN

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