I love gardening… flowers, herbs, vegetables, fruits, shrubs. I love plants and digging around in the soil, weeding, planting, and tending. Getting my hands and bare feet into the earth and listening to the sounds of nature is a happy place for me. Good soil. Plant food or fertilizer. Regular watering. Sunshine. All of these in needed amounts. Added to healthy plants with good roots.
This makes me think about the amazing roots! They draw nourishment up into the plant, which in turn provides what the plant needs to grow and flourish. Roots hold the plant securely, supporting it. Strong and deep roots hold firmly. Have you ever tried to pull up an unwanted or unneeded plant that had long, deep roots? It can be quite a job to get up! Shallow roots do not hold securely and are easily pulled up.
Just like those plants with strong and deep roots, God is our source and through Him we can hold firmly. In Paul’s letter to the Colossians, he encouraged them to continue their lives in Christ, “rooted and built up in him and established in the faith.”* Our roots are our connections with God. It is from Him that we draw our nourishment. He sets us strongly in a place where we can flourish and grow.
Have you ever found that you have set your roots into unhealthy places or situations? Instead of drawing positive and nourishing things for our lives, we find ourselves withering and unable to thrive. I’m thankful that through God, we can leave those places, and that He can transplant us when we call on Him for help.
I ask myself, “Am I caring for my roots? … What am I doing to help strengthen or establish the roots of those around me?” Maybe you have asked yourself similar questions too.
May we take positive steps to look at ourselves and our connections to others, not neglecting our root care. Reach down deeply and draw on God our source so that we can grow and better care for and support each other. Through Him we can stand firmly.
There’s another one! Tiny lights flashed in the summer night and children’s laughter rang out as we raced about the yard, catching the elusive lightning bugs and carefully placing them in a jar… Those lights drew us to their source, as we viewed them with the eyes of a child.
It seems that humankind shares that fascination with lights. The light of the sun brings warmth and growth, the shine of moon lights the way at night, and stars draw us to imagined patterns in the night sky. Candles are lit as symbols of celebration, mourning, or worship. Bonfires welcome gatherings. A light in a window, porch, or yard welcomes a traveler home.
How often do I take time to view life’s simple spots of light? The smile of a friend, the quiet contentment of home after a day’s work, the presence of family around me, the fresh smell of rain or supper cooking… These are all lights to be treasured and recalled, especially on days in need of encouragement.
I like the way light is often used as a symbol or illustration of God, of His goodness and truth. Like those tiny flashes in the dark of night, we are drawn in wonder to His presence. God surrounds us. He is like the sun’s warmth when we feel the cold of despair and the moon that shines the way as we stumble in darkness. He welcomes us and helps us to find our way.
And wonder of wonders, as His presence fills and surrounds us, our own tiny flashes attract the attention of others. They too are drawn to that source of light. As children, we open the jar and exclaim with delight as those lightening bugs once again rise together into the night sky. Flash! Blink! Light of promise… and joy… and God’s presence.
John 1:5a “The light shines in the darkness…”
Image courtesy of suphakit73 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
• We grow in all different sizes, textures, and shapes • Interconnected pores allow water and nutrients to circulate • This interconnectedness carries the source of life • Sometimes we become dry and hard • When we are dry and hard it is difficult to care • Soaking up water transforms us • When we are transformed we become able to share • All sponges can help with needed clean-up • A community of sponges grows strong together • The Source of Life provides all the nourishment we need