As Pastor Gary and I traveled the long stretch of 77N, I noticed toppled trees laying just inches away from the highway. These trees seemed to have fallen because of the wind, rain, and the soil being so wet. As we drove I saw many trees suffering from the same fate. I began to think of the scripture found in Jeremiah, Chapter 17. It reads,
"Blessed is the man who trust in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water
that sends its roots by the stream.
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit."
There are many lessons to learn from trees. As my grandfather would say, "if you want healthy fruit, you must first have healthy roots." What you see above ground is determined by what's underground. Roots are very important and are the anchor for the trees. You can afford to lose leaves but damaged roots are hard to recover from. Roots work in concert with the soil (Matthew 13:1-23). Healthy soil, moisture and nutrients are prerequisites for healthy trees. While traveling, I began to meditate on some things and wanted to share with you what they were:
1. Consider where you are planted and how far your roots are going
2. The tallest trees have the longest, deepest roots
3. The right soil, water, and nutrients produce healthy trees
4. Wind, rain, cold and heat are natural elements that you cannot control
5. The real work takes place underneath the soil, hidden from what you see
6. Diseased and healthy trees may look alike but in time, its all revealed
We can apply these same principles to our lives. My challenge to anyone reading this....is to go deeper in your faith by reading, studying, and obeying the Word of God. The result of going deeper in your faith will be the increase ability to withstand the winds, storms and floods that are part of life (Matthew 5:45). Seasons change and we must adapt. There are so many trees of various sizes and capacity but they all grow upward. Like the trees, we must grow and move closer to the sun (pun intended). We need son-light to survive and thrive. I believe that God wants to pour His spirit on the broken and give beauty for ashes but He also wants us to go deeper in Him. Some of the trees I saw on the highway looked alive but they were dead. Don't settle for just looking alive....LIVE. Give those roots the water of the word...go deeper and LIVE. If you want to go higher, grow taller, and stronger.... focus on the roots and you will produce fruit. The fruit of the tree indicates its health but the roots indicate its depth. Strive for both.