Saturday, November 6, 2010


When looking at a tree one does not normally consider its roots although they are vitally important. Without them the tree would not flourish, not bear fruit, and not even survive. Some trees have as many large roots under ground as they do primary limbs above ground, like a mirror image of the visible part of the tree.

Our lives follow a similar pattern. It's the hidden life, the spiritual disciplines and relationship with God that sustain and nurture the visible aspects of our lives.

One of my favorite Bible verses is Jeremiah 17:7:
"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear (lit. 'see') when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit."
Trusting God, an essential yet invisible function of our spiritual lives is like our spiritual root structure. Without it we will neither flourish nor survive as Christians.

In Jeremiah 17:5-6 the prophet also identifies what happens when we don't have this trust in God:
"Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited."
Jeremiah concluded that when a man does not trust the Lord he does not 'see good when it comes'. God is so good that He tries to help those who don't trust Him but when He sends good their way they are in no condition to recognize it. When the rains come that person has no root system to draw up any water. How sad!

Develop a good root system and sink your roots deeply into God. "How?", you may ask. By the normal simple ways: If you want something to live, feed it. If you want something to die, starve it. Develop your spiritual life by feeding your faith, by feeding on the faithfulness of God, and by focusing on what the Bible says about Him, about us, and and about every other important thing in our lives. Pray. Ask Him questions and wait for the answers to come in unusual ways. Be thankful as a life style, and forgive those who sin against you. These simple things will serve you well in building your spiritual root system.


  1. Thanks so much for this encouragement!

    I love all of the tree imagery in the bible. God and his creation are so closely tied together. Creation proclaims the character and glory of our God.

  2. I own a tree growing and planting business in NZ.
    One thing I try not to do is artificially 'stake' my trees. A young tree has a curious response to storms(adversity) it will send out a root in exactly the direction the wind was blowing from. Artificial support can have a disastrous effect on a tree later in life. The Lord showed me it is the same for us, we must face adversity ourselves and not shelter young Christians from it either, the Lord is our strength, not doctrine, good works, or any other 'stake'.