Earlier this week, I went on a trip with my mom, sister, and a couple of my aunts and cousins to Hocking Hills. We explored the trails, laughed a ton, ate good food, and even went horseback riding. On several of the trails, I couldn’t help but notice some of the trees that had exposed root systems. It was both fascinating and beautiful.
The roots stretched deep into the ground, in and around each other, and even into other tree roots. Tree roots anchor the tree, stabilize it, and support it by absorbing water and nutrients from the soil. They’re pretty important to say the least, and without good roots, the tree would become unstable, most likely even dead.
It made me think about my own roots. My parents have stabilized me much of my life, sheltering me from the world, keeping me safe from danger, and providing food and rich nutrients for me, just like I’m doing for our children now. However, that’s not sustainable, right? There comes a point when a tree or a person must stand on their own. And in order to stand on our own, we must root ourselves.
From my own experience, I’ve been rooted in the world before. I was left feeling anxious, stressed, unsatisfied, worried, and shameful, not to mention exhausted. But, when I officially gave my life to Christ years ago, I slowly began to forge new roots, deep within rich soil. It's hard to explain actually.
But what I can explain though is that I used to suffer from anxiety - not the “I’m nervous. I shouldn’t __________.” Rather the crippling, I can’t breathe, can’t move kind. But as Christ has walked me through some of the darkest days I could have ever imagined, I’ve come to realize that I feel more satisfied, despite my worldly circumstances, in Him, than I ever have in the world – even on my best day.
What I can explain is that our marriage was broken at one point – in several spots. But with Christ, He healed it. He picked us both up, showed us how truly broken we were, and mended what I thought would never be healed. Praise God for that!
What I can explain is that after two losses, I never thought I’d be a mama, and yet, here I am today caring for and raising three beautiful gifts from God. I didn’t think there was a way, but God made it happen.
You name it: Depression, anxiety, broken marriages, infertility, death, loss, life changes, homelessness, infidelity, addiction, broken trust, trauma, rape, abortion... the list goes on and on, Jesus wore it, for us, which is exactly why He is where I want to be rooted. Rather than take from us, He offers us the things we need: Love, Grace, Healing, Redemption, New Beginnings, Mercy, Freedom, and more, and He changes us is the very best ways.
John 15:5 reads, “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him, produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me.” Read that last part again: “…because you can do nothing without Me.” I love this because we can see that Jesus gives, rather than takes. He offers the nutrients, water, and support that we need. He stabilizes us so we can stand tall and strong throughout the roughest storms or seasons. He is where I want to be rooted.
One of my favorite Scriptures recently has been Jeremiah 17:7-8: “The man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence indeed is the Lord, is blessed. He will be like a tree planted by water: it sends its roots out toward a stream, it doesn’t fear when heat comes, and its foliage remains green. It will not worry in a year of drought or cease producing fruit.”
Friends, let’s practice being rooted in Christ this week. Even more, let’s practice being like a tree planted by water. Let’s be intentional with our connection to Him through prayer, reading Scripture, and standing in awe at His creation and plan for it all: Jesus. Have a nice week!