I like trees. I’m aware it’s not the coolest thing to like, and I’m ok with that. Because I find trees really, really impressive.
Aside from the extensive range of species, colours, heights and appearances of various trees, I think what I’m most amazed by when it comes to trees is their roots. Trees are impressive above the ground, but they are so much more impressive when it comes to the roots beneath the earth.
The roots keep the trees alive. They draw up water, which provide the tree with a substance that keeps them alive. The roots aren’t on show, and they aren’t really very pretty when you see them, all sprawling and gnarly looking. But without them, the beautiful and giant trees could not grow.
I sometimes think that trees can be a good picture of our faith. We desperately need those deep roots in order to be fed and sustained. If our roots are shallow and only just beneath the surface, they won’t last long when things get tough. Jesus talks about this in a parable in Mark 4, about seeds that fall on the surface but don’t grow deep roots and so die off in the storms of life.
Trees sustain themselves in the harshest of storms and the fiercest of blizzards because their roots run deep. If our roots run deep in God, then we will be strong and can cling to Him no matter what. But if we only grow our roots just below the surface, then when things get tough, we will become uprooted.
The difference between humans and trees, though, is that we choose how deep to grow our roots. A tree will grow its roots as far and as deep as it needs to survive. We have a choice with our roots – we can either push deeper into God, growing our roots deeper and wrapping ourselves around God’s promises for us. Or we can grow them a little, not really sustaining ourselves on God but on things of the earth instead.
Ultimately, it is up to us when it comes to how deep we root ourselves in God. It is our choice. But the deeper we root ourselves in God, the stronger our relationship with Him, and the more and more we will learn to cling to Him and rely on Him, and Him alone.