We were planting some bare root trees recently, and looking at the incredible roots of these young trees made me wonder that if these trees were going to grow to their full height and grandeur, those roots were going to have to do a remarkable job. They are the means of so much nourishment coming into the trees system, but once planted they aren’t seen, and they certainly aren’t admired, throughout all the different seasons, unlike the leaves, the blossom or the fruit of the tree.
In the passage we were looking at yesterday, part of the prayer that Paul prayed for the Christians in Ephesus was that they would be ‘well rooted in love’, Ephesians 3:17. I like that! He knew that how and where these Christians were rooted, was vital for their growth. As we were planting yesterday, we were ensuring that the roots of the trees were going into good and well watered soil. In addition we were sprinkling something called mycorrhizal fungi onto the roots so that they would grow and thrive better and be more able to cope with drought.
We know that as Christians we need good roots to stand strong in the storms and winds of life, and we need good roots that go deep enough to find water in a drought. It would seem that Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, could think of no better substance to help our roots grow strong and deep than the Love of God. How important it is for us to be ‘well rooted in love’, our own christian ‘mycorrhizal fungi’.
If we have any doubts about how much God really loves us, everything about our faith can get a bit rocky and hard work, but if we are rooted in His love, we will find ourselves drinking in His goodness even in the storms or the drought times in life. If we are struggling, and feel that we are not growing as a Christian, maybe we need to go back and look at our roots and refresh ourselves again in God’s never failing, never ending love.
Jeremiah had to do this. That poor man hit so much trouble and persecution as he sought to obey God and bring prophetic truth to his people. It got so bad that he really doubted God, and his own calling. He talks about his bitterness of soul in Lamentations 3 and then (in verse 22,23) he says “yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: because of the Lords great love, we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail, they are new every morning, great is your faithfulness”.
As we approach Easter, we can take time to do that, to call to mind God’s amazing love for us. We can refresh our ‘roots’ with His love, because it was nothing but love that brought Jesus to earth, John 3:16, and it was certainly the most extraordinary love that took Him to the cross. Should there be any question in our hearts about God’s love for us, let us take a fresh look at the cross. He really can’t say ‘I love you’ any louder or clearer than that.
Colossians 2:6,7, says that ‘just as we received Christ Jesus as Lord’ we should ‘continue to live in him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as we were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness’. Well let us thank God again and again for His love as we approach this Easter, and as we do that, we will find ourselves truly ‘rooted in His love’, and growing in our faith by the day.