Rooted to Thrive
March 28, 2014
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The plant in the photo is thriving in spite of being surrounded by sand. There’s even sand on the leaves, having been blown there by the strong winds. When I photographed the plant the sand was hot. How hot was it? So hot I couldn’t walk on it with bare feet.
It thrives in such an environment because the roots go deep, down deep where there’s moisture. The plant thriving in the sand can act as a metaphor for our lives. All of us have desert experiences. It’s those circumstances when there’s the absence of any significant good happening. There are often hostile factors. How can we thrive under such conditions?
The same God who’s designed this plant to find sustenance through being deeply rooted has also designed us to thrive in challenging situations by being deeply rooted in Him. The psalmist declared, “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” (Psalm 63:1) Our greatest need is a need for God. We can find some help and relief (some good, some bad) in other ways, but God’s to be our ultimate source of sustenance.
And just how can we deeply root ourselves in God? It’s a matter of deciding to do so, a choice we make in our thinking, a way of thinking that changes our heart. Jesus put it simply, “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” (John 7:38) When I find myself dehydrated by a desert experience in my life I’ve learned that my first move needs to be that of drawing closer to the Lord, of calling out to Him, of affirming my utter dependence on Him. Plants tend to send roots deeper when they need more sustenance. I need to do the same with the Lord, becoming more deeply rooted in Him.
I should tell you that this photo was actually taken on a beach along the ocean. If I were to have turned 180 degrees and taken a picture it would have been of the ocean with nothing but a horizon of water. The ocean’s moisture is what seeps in a subterranean movement through the sand toward the plant, the water losing its saltiness along the way, to sustain the plant. It’s an unlimited source of sustenance. So it is for us when we’re rooted in the Lord!