The sequoia redwood trees located in California are some of the largest trees in the world. One redwood, named General Sherman, is the biggest known living single stem tree on Earth. It's 275 feet tall, 25 feet in diameter and they estimate it to be 2,500 years old.
Imagine the root system these trees must have. I always believed the roots had to go deeper than the height of the tree. This is not the case with the redwoods. Their root system is only 6-12 feet deep!
Instead, their root systems stretch horizontally. They intertwine with the roots of other redwoods creating a woven mesh that anchors them to other trees so they are able to withstand the harshest weather. They have, in a sense, locked arms with other trees so they stand against storms together.
How is your root system? For years my emphasis has been being rooted and grounded in the Word, in prayer and personal devotions. This is very good, but I'm feeling a shift in His emphasis. Being rooted in Him is still a priority, but I believe He is emphasizing more connectedness to His Body.
I keep hearing: It's all about people.
No one can survive life alone. It's not God's plan. No matter how strong your faith might be - isolation is not the answer.
I know, as a widow, how much I need my friends. It's been ten years since Bill went home to be with the Lord, and my season of grieving is long past; but the challenge of being on my own continues. I'm seeing God develop a whole new root system for me. Believe me, when you've been a private person, dependent upon your husband alone, it takes humility to reach out and say, "I can't do this by myself."
We live in a culture that frowns on neediness. Independence is an idol - "I can handle it on my own. I'm tough. I'll figure it out. I'm strong and full of faith." While more people struggle with loneliness than ever before. What has all our independence gotten us?
My roots went deep in the bedrock of love and covenant with my husband and children. My life was intertwined with a single root. As good and as wonderful as that was, it's a new season. I believe it's a new season for all of us.
Us, and them, is not going to make it in the world we live in. It has to be WE.
I know as a widow it takes time to develop a new root system - one that intertwines more horizontally. Now, His emphasis is on developing inter-dependence. Old habits die hard, and I still wrestle with the desire to go back to the root system of the past.
"Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. "Behold, I will do something new. Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness. Rivers in the desert" (Isaiah 43:18-19).
God will make us aware of the new roadway ahead of us. He will make it plain. Perhaps what He is asking of us is to put a smile on our face, lift our eyes, hold the future like a gift in our hands, and get excited about what's next.
Have you ever wondered why it's important to keep your eyes to the future? It keeps us in a posture of faith. We don't know what the future will hold. We don't know what to expect, what will happen, how God's plan will unfold. It takes faith in the One you are following. It takes trust and good, good friends.