We recently had a windstorm sweep through our area. And this was no ordinary windstorm. With gusts as high as 70mph, this storm (which lasted several hours) brought great devastation to our area. Tens of thousands were without power, homes were destroyed, and there were even a few reported deaths.
Living in the Pacific Northwest, we have trees… lots and lots of large pine trees… everywhere. Throughout the storm, my family watched outside our front window as these enormous trees swayed in the mighty wind. We witnessed one of our neighbor’s trees bend and sway until it finally broke in half taking power lines down with it.
The aftermath of the storm was even worse. Without power the next morning, we woke up in a freezing cold house and decided to take a drive to escape the cold. Trees were everywhere. These enormous trees were completely uprooted during the storm and they destroyed everything in their path.
On the surface, many of these trees were strong. They seemed stable. Yet driving around, we noticed weaker trees still standing. What caused these seemingly strong trees to be completely uprooted while weaker trees survived the storm?
The answer is simple – the root system.
The stronger the root system, the stronger the tree. Above the surface, a tree can appear to be thriving. On the flip side of that, it can appear small and weak. But it’s the tree’s roots that determine the health and strength of the tree.
People are the same way. We can seem to have things all together on the surface, and we can appear to be strong and unshakable. But when storms of life come (in the form of trials and persecutions) we can easily find ourselves uprooted. God’s desire is to transform us from the inside out. He wants to strengthen our root system in Him.
When we are rooted in Christ, we are unshakable and able to stand firm when the storms of life come.
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. – Colossians 2:6-7 (NLT)
So how do we develop a strong root system as believers? We spend time abiding in Christ’s love.
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. – Ephesians 3:16-17 (NLT)
As I observed the destruction all around me this past week, I found myself reflecting on my own life. Is my root system strong enough to survive a storm? The reality is that storms will come. It’s not a matter of if but when. And when faced with a storm, will I be able to stand firm? Will I be standing strong once the storm passes?
But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit. – Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NLT)