Putting Down Roots

While eating lunch in a small diner today, I couldn’t help but over hear our gregarioustree roots waitress invite another patron to try the peach pie, which eventually led her to share how frustrated she was that her own peach and apple trees perished over the winter upon encountering the first hard freeze. As I continued to inhale my much deserved lunch, trying to mind my business, my ears inevitably perked up. Meanwhile, my mind listed the probable reasons her fruit trees failed her. One such reason being, fruit trees, like roses, need their root systems well established prior to when the first freeze strikes or they will likely die. It is probable the waitress planted her trees too late in the season while not also preparing them for the whims of winter. Upon the end of her gardening chatter, she confessed to giving up on fostering fruit trees and planted Crape Myrtle shrubs instead. Oh, and by the way, the customer never did get the peach pie. Ha!

tree-with-foliage-with-the-shape-of-a-heart-and-roots-as-text-love-on-white-background_gg67012197Much later in the evening, I contemplated the spiritual importance of being rooted. It doesn’t really matter what city or what church we lay our roots in, because if we have God’s Holy Spirit, we can go anywhere and thrive. What matters is being rooted in His love. Too often, we are rooted in false identities, wanting the approval and acceptance of other’s love. Then, when others assault us with their first hard freeze or whipping words of winter, we shrivel up and die. We fail to know our own worth because unknowingly our roots sought strength and nourishment in another’s acceptance instead of God’s. Conversely, when we know our true identities rooted in Christ’s love and approval, we will be firmly planted able to flow with a heart of thankfulness while operating in true love despite the changing seasons and hardened hearts we may encounter  (see Romans 10:10; Ephesians 3:16-19; Colossians 2:6-7).

“By believing you receive God’s approval, and by declaring your faith you are saved.” Romans 10:10 (God’s Word Translation)

Trust The Process

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Sweet Peas grow up to around 6 feet tall with a variety of colors! {photo credit: unknown}

If you ever want to experience joy while refining your level of patience, then nurturing tiny seeds into seedlings and eventual full grown veggies or other blooms is a process to trust. For the past several weeks, I’ve watched Sweet Peas evolve from tiny round seeds to long slender stems with several small leaves. Around the time they were ready to be transitioned to the great outdoors, our area experienced an ongoing winter-like cold snap that lasted for a couple of weeks preventing me from transplanting them where they could reach their full potential. Meanwhile, my Sweet Peas were getting so tall they were flopping over and their roots were attempting to break forth from the seedling cell pack I originally started them in.

20160323_135938.jpgAs I impatiently waited on the Lord to intervene in our wacky weather, He softly spoke to me about how the conditions weren’t right for the seedlings to flourish or put another way, the seedlings weren’t ready for the demands of the external conditions. Much like we, as baby believers, may grow suddenly and are eager to get out there to lead, teach, or preach, but often we simply aren’t ready for the conditions we will have to endure. Just as there is a “hardening off” process where I have to slowly introduce the seedlings to the ideal external conditions by placing them outdoors for a few minutes a day for several days until they are  ready to be permanently exposed to the outdoor environment, believers need to be raised up and gently prepared prior to blessing their surrounding environment with fragrant blooms or refreshing fruit. Otherwise, the chilly nights, scorching sun, or unexpected storms will quickly snuff out our enthusiastic seedling forever ruining the patient process of producing anything substantial or eternal.

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Sweet Peas bouquets {photo credit: Floret Flowers}

With everything, there is a process – a process we must learn to trust. If you are willing to display the fruits of God’s Holy Spirit, if you are willing to dispense the sweet fragrance of Christ, if you are willing to be overcoming and ever-blooming for Him, then you have to first be willing to go through the process of growing up in God until the conditions in your heart and surrounding circumstances are ready and able to bear fruit. Be encouraged and diligent though as your roots deepen and stems thicken for a time will come when He will transplant you providing you with ample opportunity to manifest His glorious blooms securely planted in Him!

For step by step directions on how to grow Sweet Peas from seed, check out this helpful article by Floret Flowers.