Be Rooted and Hang On
By SUSAN SMITH WALKER
One of the great mysteries of life is our quest to know God, what He is like, and what He expects of us. Especially now, many people are looking for God in the world and wondering what he is trying to tell us in this worldwide pandemic. Right now, many believers are evaluating their priorities and asking God to guide them in the face of an uncertain future.
For some, this is a spiritual wake-up call and a good time to renew our commitment to our church and our church family. Not being able to attend church and see each other reminds us of the old saying “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” We miss each other and the things we do together in fellowship as a church family. Online worship services are good for now, and outdoor church is even better but we long for the days when our church centered lives will go back to normal and we can hug one another again.
Until then, lets hang on to each another the best we can and pray for God to strengthen His people for the road ahead. Apostle Paul prayed this prayer in Ephesians 3:14-19:
4 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge)—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
One thing God is telling us is to be rooted together in love and hang on. A wonderful example of how this works can be found in nature in the forests where we find giant sequoia trees on the west coast. Sequoia trees are some of the largest and oldest living things on earth. From a tiny seed, they grow as tall as 35 story building, have a diameter 20 feet wide and live up to 3,000 years.
How does a massive 350-foot-tall tree support itself? You might think that the roots are as deep as the tree is tall but that is not the case. Sequoia tree roots are very shallow, often only five or six feet deep, but they radiate from the trunk in all directions up to 100 feet out. Sequoias form communities by intertwining their roots for strength and support. Hanging on to each other gives them tremendous strength to withstand high winds and raging floods. A Sequoia that grows apart from the community will eventually fall over because it cannot support itself. They cannot stand alone.
And so it is with God’s people – we cannot stand alone. We need each other now more than ever before. Like the giant sequoias, we must be rooted together in love and hang on. We need to support our church, our church family, and the Body of Christ anyway we can because we are stronger together. Concentrate on what can be done. Be creative. Stay connected. We are in this together.
Rev. Walker is the pastor of Emanuel Reformed Church www.emanuelreformedchurch.com and can be reached at 828-962-8196 or firstname.lastname@example.org