(Originally posted on The Bullard Pack blog on 5/19/10)
Our girls and I have been studying Apologia Science: Botany for the past several months, and I must admit, classifying plants is not the most exciting topic of learning for me! Last week we read and discussed the function and need of roots for plants and trees. Like everything that God has created, they have a purpose.
Without roots, plants, trees, flowers and the like would not obtain the water and nutrition they need to sustain growth. They would also constantly be at the mercy of the elements. Rain would soak the ground and wash them away. Wind would blow them over, even, perhaps transporting them to another location. And without a firm base, or foundation within the soul beneath them, the plant would simply cease to exist.
On a recent hike with my husband up to Linville Falls, we made our way over and around several roots that had grown over the walking trails. My mind began bringing back the reasons why roots continue to reach out and grow wherever they can, whether it be deep beneath the earth, on top of the ground, or over existing trees, plants or other roots. Suffice to say, roots are relentless in their pursuit of growth. If their roots stop growing, they die.
Roots. What are my roots? Whom or what sustains me? Who is my strength when the elements of life overtake me? Where do I draw my nourishment from?
Although I have known about God for pretty much my entire life, I never really knew Him until I became an adult. I remember, sitting on our bed, 9 months pregnant with our first child when the floodgates opened in my soul. Through the sobbing and tears, I confessed to my husband that I didn’t think God could love me. I had turned my back on Him, and done so many sinful things that I knew He couldn’t forgive them all. In fact, I couldn’t even forgive myself. As my husband held me, he whispered “God loves you Jodie….all you have to do is ask for forgiveness, and He will give it to you. Ask Him to be your Savior” After a few rounds with the box of Kleenex, I did, and as they say, the rest is history……………
As I look back on the past decades of my life, I cringe at how, at times, my relationship with God has been so lukewarm. Only in the last few years have I really begun to develop deep roots in my life as a follower of Christ. Thank the Lord that through prayer and persistence and patience I have gradually, over time, immersed myself in the rich soil of God’s love and will for my life. I finally began getting up before the sun rises (did I mention that I HATE mornings? J) to read the Word and pray. I finally began praying for people when they asked me to (sometimes at that moment, in front of them!). I finally began sharing my failures with others, in order to encourage them in their faith in Jesus Christ. I finally became intentional about teaching our children about God and His love. For years I prayed for God to give me the desire to do all these things, and slowly, over time, He did. Of course, I had to actually get up and DO some of them, even when I didn’t (and still don’t!) feel like it.
Now that I have developed some roots, does that mean I’m done growing? Of course not! Even if I become a giant redwood with roots as thick as a truck, it doesn’t mean I stop replenishing, maintaining, and feeding the soil in which I live in. In order to live a blessed life in which God will one day say “well done, my good and faithful servant,” (Matthew 25:23) I must continue to find sustenance in God’s Word, stability in His Spirit and forgiveness in His Son. For without them, I will surely die. Maybe not a physical death- yet, but a spiritual one, and that, my friend is much worse.