Spring can teach us how to grow our roots deep while we wait for our time to rise.
A quick trip to the mailbox caused me to pause as I noticed some fresh spring flowers shooting up from their cute home in our front flower bed. The bulbs I planted last year have clearly survived and have felt the warmth of the earth over the last few weeks in our area of Tennessee.
The only problem is, it’s not yet spring. While the fresh pop of purple made my heart happy, I couldn’t help but say to the buds, “It’s a trick. It’s not time to come up yet. It’s likely to get cold again and then it’s over for you.” Not much survives this in-between period that so often happens in our part of the country. That time when it’s shorts weather on Monday and by Wednesday, the winter jackets are back out again. Not much survives—but some things can.
It’s a time when plants are fragile and small, and when the quality of their roots will become evident. Those that are established, really rooted in deep, rich soil, can sometimes survive that last freeze that is almost inevitable.
Wow, if I’m not too often just like these buds. When it’s time to shine, I’m up for the challenge. When it’s time to lay low, I can do that too.
But the in-between. The in-between is often my nemesis.
The ‘in-between’ when God’s Word feels routine and not as special as other seasons of my life.
The ‘in-between’ when I’m waiting and waiting on God’s hand to move and lead, and it seems as if I’ll have to wait forever.
The ‘in-between’ when I’m tempted to spring up too early because the waiting period just seems too passive, and I long to take control of something.
So the question really becomes, where are my roots planted and how deep do they go?
“Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.” Colossians 2:6-7 (NASB)
In this letter from Paul to the church in Colosse, he is writing to encourage the small group of believers to unify themselves and hold fast to the assurance they have in Christ. Although Paul had never seen these believers face-to-face, he felt troubled in his spirit over the reports of some discouragement and possible false teachings attempting to be mixed with the Gospel in this area. And so, he pleads with the church to remain firm in the person of “Christ Jesus the Lord,” and remain deeply rooted in the truth of who God is. Amazingly, this is the only time in all of Scripture that the name “Christ Jesus the Lord,” is used. Perhaps it is because the only roots worth being built up are those established in Him alone.
That’s the thing about roots. They are designed to spread deep and far and wide and are to cling to the foundation already laid. As a believer, I became rooted in the person of Christ the moment I placed my trust in Him and accepted His grace. Now, my faith is worked out daily and is being “built up.”
But, we can rest assured that unlike the flowers that may or may not survive, the Lord’s protection does not change with the seasons. He leads us to times of extreme joy that are marked by all the things that make our hearts flood with love and appreciation of Him.
He leads us to times of wilderness walking where our only choice to make it through our difficulty is to yield to His control.
He leads us when we feel dry and complacent and need a fresh enthusiasm for Him.
He leads us. And there it is. An incredible truth to sink our teeth into. When we, like the flowers blooming too early, are tempted to run ahead of His plan, He lovingly guides us back onto His timeline.
When we become complacent in a season of going through the motions of religious disciplines, He sparks our hearts to see Him with a new wave of energy and joy.
When we think we’ve got Him figured out, His patterns and activity in our lives, He invites us into something even deeper. And all the while, our roots are stretching deeper and wider and being more firmly established in Christ Jesus the Lord.
Lacey holds a MA in pastoral Counseling and serves alongside her husband at Dallas Bay Church in the Chattanooga, TN area. She has served in both formal ministry and as a contributing writer for Lifeway and various churches. She seeks to be authentic both in her life and her writing, passionate about developing Christ-followers who own their faith and keep it real. This all starts with her own four kiddos at home where she survives on her favorite Spotify playlists and Cherry Coke Zero!