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Rooted and Grounded

“Those rose trees aren’t looking very good. I wonder what’s happening to them?”

The lovely roses that had greeted us in our new home were no longer thriving. I grabbed a slender trunk and gently waggled it. Seconds later I stood there holding up a rootless plant. Something had eaten away the roots. Poor thing!

Anyone who has survived a windstorm knows how easily the force of nature can topple a tree whose roots don’t go deep. The once might tower lies on the ground, a huge circle of sod and spindly roots upended for all to see. As beautiful as those trees can be, they are a danger to any nearby structure.

It is important to consider the root structure of anything we plant. And we need to be attentive to those roots, nurturing them, tending them. If something is “rooted” it will last. It cannot be destroyed or removed without extreme intervention. It is established deeply and firmly. Hopefully it is something desirable, something we don’t want to lose.

We also have to consider where those roots are going. Some things we plant can turn on us and create disaster. Water hungry roots invade pipes. Plants we might choose for ground cover can overtake our yards, their roots determined to survive any attempts at eradication. We need to be careful what we are establishing.

Something else that needs to be carefully established is electricity. When electric currents aren’t grounded, the power runs amok. I’ve experienced more than one “buzz” from appliances or light switches that had grounding issues. Better get those fixed right away before something more serious courses through our bodies!

Being rooted and grounded is true of our physical world, but it is even more important in our spiritual life. If our beliefs and values have roots that run deep, we are established and grounded. We are not easily moved.

But we need to be sure where those roots are going. Seeking after the fleeting things of this world may appear to be nurturing our lives, giving us purpose. Yet the surface nature of what is here today and gone tomorrow won’t allow our roots to go deep.

The apostle Paul is adamant about developing our faith roots. He knows our power and strength come from our Lord Jesus dwelling in our hearts, when we are “rooted and grounded in love” (Ephesians 3:17 ESV). He encourages us to live our lives “rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith” (Colossians 2:6 ESV) because that is when our life is truly full.

When others look to our leadership, they expect us to be rooted and grounded. They expect us to know what we stand for, what is important to us, what our values are. And they expect us to be faithful to those things we profess to cherish.

If that isn’t happening in my role as a leader, I know my roots are compromised, shallow. I know I haven’t been allowing those roots to grow deeper into an understanding of all my Lord Jesus has done and continues to do for me.

And then I imagine what it’s like when I’m not grounded, just as those electrical currents were running unchecked. My energies, my strength, my ideas, my spiritual life go in all directions and to no purpose. I can even create chaos, cause damage!

But when I am rooted deeply in the saving grace of my Lord Jesus, then I truly am “grounded and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the Gospel” (Colossians 1:23 ASV). I am confident of what I am cherishing. I no longer am timid in my claim to His victory. And I allow my roots to reach deep into His love and joy.

Leaving my guilt at the cross,


(First published at Lead Like Jesus May 2020)


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