Deep Roots in Secret

The talented and beautiful Dolly Parton once said, “storms make trees take deeper roots.” While the science may not back that statement up exactly, the sentiment behind it is a lovely piece of wisdom. I often use this expression to encourage people weathering a storm, but one day I began to think about it even deeper.

Trees can often have some exposed roots, but most of a tree’s root system is underground where we cannot see its length and complexity. We can see a tree waver in a windstorm without being uprooted and make assumptions about its hidden strength. We can see branches full of blooms and assume its health. In humans, we sometimes get a glimpse of how rooted in Christ someone is, especially when we witness them in a struggle. What we don’t often see is the time, energy, discipline, and persistence in creating these roots. Where are you establishing your roots? In the Gospels, Jesus illustrates the importance of this using the Parable of the Sower. Seeds scattered along a path get snatched up by birds, seeds in rocky ground get scorched because of their shallow roots, seeds amongst the thorns get choked, but seeds planted in good soil will thrive. God’s word is our good soil. (Matthew 13Mark 4Luke 8When plants are foreign to an area, they often have a difficult time establishing roots because the soil may not have an appropriate pH level and the climate may not lead to thriving. As Christians, we must establish roots in the good soil. 

Spending time in God’s word and praying over people, places, things: roots. Walking in obedience, waiting, and walking in step with the Holy Spirit: roots. Reflecting on shortcomings and asking the Lord to reveal areas that could use some fine-tuning: roots. Shifting our perspective to see a closed door as protection and a storm as a workout: roots. Nourishing routines, healthy habits, self-control, tough decisions, steadfastness, righteous anger… roots, roots, roots. 

We admire people in their slowness to anger, thoughtful speech, gentle approach, and gracious manner but often dismiss the years of habit forming, the repentance, the learning, and the healing it took to get them to that point. We are all born unique and continue in that path of diversity as we develop. Our life experiences can be reflected in our lifestyles. Beyond that, psychological studies seem to reveal that personality is fairly constant despite experiences. Every personality is naturally inclined toward some good behaviours and some not-so-good behaviours. No personality lends itself to human perfection. We must train ourselves to maximize the benefits and minimize the damages from our temperament.  Jesus said “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” John 15:1-2

As I have mentioned in my “About” section of the Love Encompassing website, I have a tendency to love people; it comes very naturally to me. I do not, however, have an apt for slowness to speak. To maximize the benefits, I believe it is important for me to ensure I have opportunities to make people feel loved. What this could look like in my world is to put myself out there with others, in roles and positions that are not isolating. “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgement.” Proverbs 18:1 On the other side is my unfortunate quickness to speak – as a kid I was gifted a t-shirt that said, “little miss chatterbox”. To combat this, I have to create parameters; I would consider myself in training. Such parameters could be – taking a deep breath before speaking, realizing that just because I have a relevant story to the conversation doesn’t mean it HAS to be said, and apologizing for interrupting or impatiently finishing someone’s sentence. Most importantly, this process of maximization and minimization must always be done through a biblical lens. Asking God for His opinion will only serve to deepen your roots.

We can learn a lot from nature, it is incredible and purposeful. If a tree lives in an area with frequent flooding, it will adapt its roots to prevent rotting. It will withstand much more water than a tree in an area without flooding – even if it’s the same species. These adaptations could be generational. We cannot expect to drastically lengthen our roots overnight but with prayer, obedience, and discipline we could certainly create change that may last for generations. “No one is established by wickedness, but the root of the righteous will never be moved.” Proverbs 12:3



Meagan | Love Encompassing