I’m currently fascinated by trees and their role in His beautiful creation as well as their role in His beautiful biblical story for us. In case you haven’t figured that out by now. Ha!
I recently was able to visit some of the largest trees in the world in Muir Woods, CA, with my hubby. It was jaw-dropping to walk through the gorgeous structures, soaking in His power and majesty in this little version of Eden. Yet I was shocked when we learned that these huge trees have very shallow roots. And the only reason they can survive and grow so tall is due to their location in California, which is mostly free from severe storms and wind. We also noticed their branches were not long or wide at all. The trees appeared to be focused on growing up. So from the outside, these tall beauties appear strong and mighty. (Receiving lots of praise and attention, kind of like our current culture.) But if things were to get tough and crazy in their little world, they’d likely topple down! Crazy, huh?
So that got me thinking about trees with deep roots, and I began a little research. And what I found just made my heart smile. The trees with the deepest roots live in places with more extreme weather, grow slowly, and often grow wide and high rather than just straight up like the ones in Muir Woods. Even in considering a tree, we see His beautiful design and purpose in all things!
In the analogy of our being trees, our Lord desires us to have deep roots and wide branches, resulting from slow, intentional growth. Scripture reveals all this. Just search tree in your Bible. We’re to be planted on a firm foundation, near flowing (or Living) Water, deeply rooted and finding our strength, power, and understanding in His love. Rather than just growing straight up, rising above others, we’re to grow out, reaching others. And our visible height and health aren’t the focus – it’s our root system that reveals our health, wholeness, and holiness.
I’m gonna geek out even more and copy some info below that I got from this webpage. (Like I shared in the last post, I really like knowledge. But let’s apply this to our Tree of Life!)
‘The beauty and utility of trees are unsurpassed. If you live on an oak-lined street you know these are the most coveted neighborhoods.’
‘They act as windbreaks in the winter and shade your house in the summer to drive down energy costs. And they look beautiful while doing it.’
May this be the kind of beauty we pursue and put energy towards – serving, protecting, and loving those around us.
‘You don’t want a tree that’s going to topple over in high winds, which means you do want trees with a robust root system.’
‘Some trees have evolved the ability to grow very deep and robust taproots to find a deeper water table and withstand drought conditions.’
‘Did you know trees can grow their roots through rock? It’s true! Rather than try to grow around a rock, a tree will go right through, over time.’
We’re probably all familiar with the ‘storms of life’. Paul in writing Ephesians 3 knew these storms all too well, which resulted in this wonderful prayer. Francis Chan gave a sermon over this particular passage and repeatedly stated how this is ultimately what we should pray for ourselves, our kids, our spouses, our family and friends . . . that we are DEEPLY ROOTED in His love. We can’t control the storms they will face or the challenges with which they will struggle. So we pray for a root system that goes deep, wide, and through the Rock!
‘The growth of tree roots is all about the search for nutrients and the support of the tree’s canopy.’
‘If either one of these missions fails, the tree is much more likely to die. Large trees have an even more significant substructure: primary roots that are perennial and secondary roots that grow in waves as the canopy is expanding.’
Smiling again because now we’re talking about what the trees soak in and how they are better together! Food is fuel to grow and serve and the support around us impacts our growth and service as well.
‘Trees will show very little visible growth in their first years of life as their taproots are growing down. However, this isn’t all they are doing.’
‘Trees must spend their energy developing a diverse root system.’
Yes. This. This final line is what it’s all about, Friends. We can find our strength and our power and understanding and even our rest in His love (Eph 3:17-18). Let’s put our energy towards pursuing the King and serving His Kingdom. Let’s focus on being deep and wide trees, not tall and thin ones. 🙂