A few months ago, I received a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Inside that bouquet was the cutest little succulent. When the rest of the bouquet died, my mom took the succulent out and planted it in the tiniest terracotta pot, because she thought it might take root. For many weeks it sat on our kitchen counter, getting bumped by dishes and people and taking quite a beating.
When I moved, my mom brought the plant up to my little apartment and placed it on my bathroom counter. I spent a month watering it and caring for it and loving it. I wanted so badly for that little guy to grow and thrive.
Then one night, I bumped him. I watched in horror as the remainder of his little leaves (they were beginning to dwindle) fell off, and his stem came out of the soil. I finally admitted defeat and threw him out.
Why did my succulent fall out of the soil so easily when I barely even touched him? Because he had no roots. He had nothing to anchor him in the soil, so when an event that threatened his stability came, it had catastrophic consequences.
As I was cleaning up my poor little succulent, my mind wandered to the Parable of the Sower in Mark 4. In this parable, Jesus tells the story of a farmer who went out to sow seed. Some fell on the path and was quickly eaten up by birds. Some fell on rocky ground, where it grew fast, but dried up in the sun. Others fells amongst thorns and was choked as it grew. Finally, some fell on the good soil, and grew strong roots, and produced a plentiful crop.
The world is filled with a whole lot of wishy-washy Christians. They claim to know & follow Him, but their faith is weak. As soon as it is threatened, they crumble. They are like the seed that fell along the path, or in the rocks, or amongst the thorns. They have not developed strong roots in Christ. But, the world also has strong Christians. Ones who spend time getting to know the heart of God. Ones who place all of their trust in Him. When trials come their way, they stand firm.
My question for you is this, how are your roots?
I used to be like the seed planted on the rocks – I grew up in a Christian home and I always had a desire to know and love Christ, yet I didn’t put in the effort required to grow strong roots. So when I reached a point in school where being a Christian wasn’t the popular thing to do, I was uprooted effortlessly. I allowed the opinions and actions of my peers to shape my beliefs, until my faith disappeared.
It took years for me to learn how to grow strong roots.
I had to learn self discipline.
I had to learn how to say no.
I had to learn how to face opposition.
I had to learn how to accept being alone sometimes.
Three ways to grow your roots:
- Read your Bible. This is how you KNOW who God is. You can not know someone if you don’t spend time with them and you don’t learn about them.
- Pray! Prayer is the most valuable and precious gift we have from God. It’s our way to communicate with Him! One thing I have learned is to never, ever underestimate the power of prayer.
- Surround yourself with people who are also focused on growing their own roots. Find a church, get involved in a Bible study group, build friendships with other Christians who are your age! Having a strong support system is so important. When the storms of life come your way, they are the people to turn to who will focus you back on the Lord rather than the wind and the waves.
Your roots will not grow overnight. But through nurturing and time, they can extend deep into the soil and grow beautiful fruit.