Roots

When I pick Chase up from preschool, I usually park in the same place. It’s a double-parking spot underneath a huge live oak in front of his preschool. Years ago they paved the parking lot around the towering tree, but the pavement couldn’t contain the ever-growing roots, and instead of two flat parking spaces there’s a bumpy maze of pavement-covered tree roots.

The roots from the massive oak tree create a jarring parking experience – and a fun balancing adventure for Chase. As my four-year old tells me about his morning, he carefully walks along the thick roots where they curve out from the tree. It’s like a puzzle for him. Sometimes we try to find the matching root under the black pavement a few feet away, and Chase enjoys balancing along the high cracking ridges of broken pavement.

 “Why are there so many roots?” Chase asked one day.

I explained tree roots are for anchoring the tree in the ground and provide water and nutrients from the soil.  The older and bigger the tree is, the more numerous its roots and the further they reach out and down. I’m no tree expert, but I’d guess this particular monarch at over a half-century in age. I also mentioned hurricanes and how a strong storm could blow down a younger tree that didn’t yet have a strong root system.

Chase continued hopping along the root ridges. A squirrel barked above our heads, eager to come down for lunch.

As I watched him bounce around I thought about Paul’s words to the church in Colosse. They were confused by false teachers and had lost sight of Jesus, “the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). Paul admonished the Colossian church to stay rooted in Jesus alone and not get carried about by false doctrine.

“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2: 6-7).

When we receive Jesus as our Savior, He becomes our foundation.  We must be rooted solidly in our Savior first and foremost before we can be “built up in Him.” After all, before a building’s walls go up, the foundation must be finished and secure.  

Jesus’ words ring loudly across the pages of God’s Holy Word, undeniable and clear: “I am the way, the truth, and the life…” (John 14:6). Nothing should be added or taken away from Him – He is the foundation of our faith. Our roots should rest in Him alone because His work on Calvary was perfect and complete.

“Why are they all coming up through the parking spot?” Chase fired away again, hop-skipping toward the truck.

As I thought about his question, I realized when we’re “rooted and built up” in Jesus, our roots should break free of all worldly restraint. They’ll grow and flourish in Him and for Him. Nothing on earth should be able to contain our love and devotion to the perfect Son of God who gave His all for our broken emptiness.

And it’s “with thanksgiving” that I’m to root myself in Him. A thankful heart allows lots of room so “Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height – to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-19).

To know the adundant love of God, root yourself in Jesus.

May our roots in Christ grow, stretch out, and break through the restraints of this world, all for His glory.

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