Came across this amazing tree whilst out walking the other day. The roots have been exposed after years of wind, rain, and a fair amount of foot traffic and swinging too by the looks of things!
I don’t think the photo does it justice, I just wanted to stand and stare at it for ages, as the family tramped on, ‘come on Mum…’. There was just something about it, the way the roots intertwined, not tangled but almost plaited together, reaching out far from the trunk in search of water and sustenance.
The pattern they formed was beautiful, intricate like lace, woven in and out of each other. And yet so strong, strong enough for people to climb up, hang off and trample over, or clamber under.
This tree stood alone, surrounded by woods yes, but in a little oasis of it’s own, any life around it ether ground under foot by curious walkers, excited kids, or just by the strength of this tree alone, those enormous tendrils of roots reaching every last drop of life in the ground.
This tree, in all it’s glory, reminded me of the roots we put down with our faith. This tree has withstood storms, gailforce winds, hot summers and an ever increasing onslaught of humans, and yet it stands. Not just stands, but stands firm, strong, tall, standing out in it’s surroundings, full of life. Are we like this tree? Am I? Is my faith as firm as to withstand the storms of life? I’ve found recently in the storm that my faith has strengthened in that. Like these tree roots not just gripping on but growing deeper and further, holding so tightly that nothing will rock it.
I once planted a tree in our garden, it was quite young and the roots were not yet deep, and when it was wet the soil around it would wash away and the tree would fall over. I had to put a stake in to hold it up until it had grown roots strong enough. Our faith can be like that, it we don’t give it what it needs to grow strong, to grow deep to withstand the rain or the wind, it will just fall over. What good is a faith like that? how does that tie us to Jesus?
I love this passage above from Colossians – that we will overflow with thankfulness when we are rooted deep with Jesus. And I think not just thankfulness, but overflowing with the life and love of Jesus. As a tree has roots deep underground, the outside is lush and green, or flowering, or full of fruit, so that it shows it’s life for all to see.
I hope that my roots will grow ever deep so that I can be like the tree that overflows with Jesus…