Rooted in God's Love
Recently I was in London for the wedding of a good friend. I’d lived in Clapham just over twenty years ago so we decided to walk to the Common to get some shelter on a hot day. However when we got there, we were shocked to see the open space the colour of barley.
The long hot summer had totally drained the grass, and we struggled to find anywhere cool. There were only the trees around the outside which remained green. “How can they be so green when the grass is so pale?” I said to my husband. “It’s because the trees have roots which go down really deep”, said my oracle of a husband.
This reminds me of what the prophet Jeremiah wrote in the Bible, many hundreds of years ago;
“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit”.
We all rely on certain things to get us through life. Often it’s the things that we’ve learned from our experience – our personality, our determination, our intelligence, our sense of humour, our hard work. All of these things are good and they work in certain times and contexts but they can let us down, but the Bible suggests that by relying on God we will never be let down, but sustained through life. The image that Jeremiah wrote about is just like what I saw in Clapham - trees with green leaves and roots that go down really deep into water. And it’s these deep roots that mean the trees don’t get bothered by heat, or worried by long months of drought. In other words, life with God at the centre enables us to keep our heads with all that we face.
Religion isn’t airy fairy stuff, but it’s connected with our daily lives and all we deal with, whether that’s rising bills for heating and food, environmental concerns, worries about our health and family, the political instability that we face. It may be that none of these issues cause you concern but it’s something else. But whatever it is, there is nothing that God can’t sort out for you if you lean on him. And we know that because his Son Jesus straddled life and death on the cross to show us that nothing, not even death, could stop us from trusting God, from letting go, so that just like the tree that Jeremiah wrote about we could keep on producing green leaves, even when the going gets tough.
Death is probably the worst thing that we ever have to deal with, and God has shown us that his love for us is so strong not even the grave can separate us from him.
The Christian life is essentially about trusting in God, of saying yes to a Creator, who wants to work in your life and enable you to be all that you can be. So, as we journey through life, I encourage you to think about where your roots are planted, and to make God your hope and your confidence. For it is in God that true freedom can be found as we experience his unconditional love for us.