COLUMN: Be firmly rooted like a tree

-A A +A
By Jon Rohr

Trees are really amazing creations. As they are coming out of their winter rags and putting on their spring finery, I am amazed anew at their beauty and strength. Bright greens and dark greens, some flowering, some leaving pollen all over my car, but all stretching up as if reaching for the heavens.
Have you noticed that some trees are stronger than others? Years ago we had some flowering pears, beautiful when blooming, beautiful in shape, but they grew so fast they were easily broken by the wind. Others, like magnolias, have shallow roots that the wind can easily uproot.
Then, there are the oaks that seem to take forever to grow, but they are tough and hardy, sinking their roots deep and growing strong. I have a fairly new house and my wife and I have been talking about putting in some trees, and the balance is always between the quick beauty of a fast growing variety, or the lasting strength and endurance that come with a slower growing plant.
As believers, we struggle with that same balance. Some believers seem to shoot up quickly and we are glad to see them, but sometimes that quick spurt of growth hides a lack of roots, a shallow foundation. And both trees and people have to face the storms.
Listen to this from the first chapter of Psalms, “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers” (Psalm 1:1–3 NIV).
A wise man chooses the soil in which he grows carefully. He plants himself among good friends; friends who will help him grow in the ways of the Lord. A godly woman sinks her heart into the word of the Lord and draws strength from it. Real blessing comes as we embrace God’s ways and God’s people. Then our roots have the chance to dig deep.
A believer may blossom quickly, and I thank the Lord for that. But all of us need to make sure we take the time to grow deep: Deep in understanding and cherishing the Word of God. Deep in fellowship with other saints of the Lord who will embrace us and encourage us.
As you watch the trees bloom out this year, consider the lessons from God’s wonderful creation. How deep are your roots? How firm is your fellowship? Grow deep in him this year and watch your life grow and blossom.