I was down in Oregon a few weeks ago visiting churches. I drove though an area of the state where I had worked as a forester. I spent quite a bit of time measuring the size of trees and making notes on their health. Many of the trees measured over one-hundred feet high. It was amazing to see something stand that tall without the use of ropes like the rigging on a ship mast. Some of these trees had withstood the storms for more than a century without falling. Often I would see much younger trees toppled over. The difference was in the roots. The older trees had grown up in places exposed to the wind, and had experienced drought. These adverse forces had stressed the tree and stimulated the formation of a strong root system. The younger trees had grown up fast in protected stands. Their roots were shallow and weak. A strong wind or even a heavy snow load would up-root them.
If you guessed that I was going to draw a parallel between our lives as Christians and those trees you were right! As Christians we can look young and strong until we become exposed to adversities of life. It is then that the strength of our roots will show. Our roots become strong amid the stresses of life. It is those times when we feel overwhelmed and we simply groan God help me...God have mercy that we become more strongly rooted in Him. Of course strong roots need to draw nutrients from the soil. Our soil is prayer, Scripture, and...those examples of holy living we see around us.
I'm heading to Arizona this month to invite Christians to come to Alaska. I'm going to ask them to expose themselves to the test of wind and storm. Many have come in the past, and they do leave more strongly rooted in Christ.
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the saints. to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge -- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Eph. 7:17-21.