It was a dreary, rainy Sunday afternoon up on Rocky Top. The cold meds I had been taking, combined with the sound of steady rain, lulled me into a deep sleep in my old brown leather recliner.
Suddenly I woke up to the sound of a muffled thud and the house shaking. After rising slowly and walking around the house, I was convinced I had just woken from a strange dream, likely the result of the cold meds. However, within the hour, I realized I hadn’t been dreaming or hallucinating. Upon entering my office in an attempt to be productive, I screamed, “Preacher, come quick!” There, outside my office window, laid a massive oak tree on the ground not far from our home.
The tree was probably seventy-five feet tall and appeared to be healthy and was covered in new green foliage. Preacher guesstimated the tree was fifty years old. The entire root system came up as it fell to the ground. Just last week our grandkids had been hunting Easter eggs in the shade of that tree.
How does an apparently healthy tree just fall in the middle of the day? There wasn’t high wind or a thunderstorm, just a slow, steady rain that had fallen over the course of several days. Up to six inches of rain had saturated the ground of Rocky Top.
Upon closer inspection of the fallen tree, half of the root system had been exposed by the rocky cliff it had been growing on. In other words, on the outside the tree appeared healthy but the roots didn’t go deep and secure into the ground.
Isn’t that how many people fall: we appear to be healthy on the outside but our roots have not grown deep into good soil.
The pictures on Facebook and Instagram look great: cute outfit, perfect shoes, gorgeous skin and hair, even breath-taking scenery. All indicators point to LIFE IS GOOD!
Nothing wrong with some great pics on social media. When I was a little girl, my “mamaw” used to say “Pumpkin (yes she was a southern grandma), what’s on the inside is so much more important than what is on the outside.” Now as a Nonna to three grandchildren, the importance of root deepening is becoming more apparent. Growing older doesn’t necessarily mean the roots are deep and strong.
Root deepening is a constant process according to God’s word: “So then just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught and overflowing with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:6-7
- Root deepening isn’t about remaining in the same place. It is about growing roots deep in His love, His truth and His ways. Most of the time that involves change which requires faith.
- Root deepening isn’t about simply knowing God’s word. It is about doing God’s word. A teacher knows the pupil understood the lesson when it is lived out in real life, not when the pupil simply recites what the teacher says.
- Root deepening is about knowing when roots become exposed due to the elements of life, to deal with it. Ask for help. Ignoring exposed roots will lead to a fall.
- Root deepening happens when thankfulness is overflowing. A thankful spirit looks up and out to the Giver of Life, Jesus.
The fallen oak tree will be removed soon. No damage was done to anyone or really anything.
Yet, it was a reminder that the adorable Easter picture, the fun Easter egg hunt, and the dinner we enjoyed as a family came at a price. It is because of that high price, I desperately want to grow my roots deep into His love.
“I pray that you will be rooted and established in His love.” Ephesians 3:17