A few days ago, as I got into my car to go to work, I happened to notice that one of the trees in my yard had roots that were at the surface. Water is necessary for a tree to grow so one of the functions of roots is to draw water into the tree. Without water , the tree will die. During a drought, roots in their attempt to find water will rise to the surface.
South Carolina tends to be in a dry zone and lately we haven't had much rain which explains why this particular tree had roots that were at the surface. Also, this tree is partially diseased so I'm sure the sickness made its need for water even greater.
Whenever I think about trees and water, I automatically think of Psalm 1 so that morning my mind went there again. Psalm 1 talks about believers being like trees planted by streams of waters. That is a picture of a normal Christian . . . leaves green and producing much fruit. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be true of a large portion of the church. In most cases, the church seems more like my poor sick tree desperately seeking a little water in order to make it another day.
At one time, that was also true of my life as a believer. I was very much like that tree. Running to different Bible studies, actively involved in the latest program, reading the latest fad book hoping to find a little water to keep me going another day. If someone gave a testimony telling how Father had worked in their lives, I tried to do the same thing hoping for the same results. However, no matter how much hype was attached to them, nothing produced the promised results and I would end up frustrated and thirstier than before.
It was only when Father began to reveal his grace to me that I began to understand that the things I was pursuing could never produce or sustain life. Jesus is the only one who can do that. Since I began this journey of growing in grace, I feel as though I've finally connected with a flowing source of water that is bringing life. I no longer experience the highs and lows that used to be part of my life. There is now a feeling of contentment that is more constant.
I love the title of Joel's podcast - Growing in Grace. That's my goal . . . to sink my roots deeper and deeper into grace and to grow and experience the life of Jesus in greater and greater measure.
What a beautiful picture of the life of a believer who has grown in grace and is living out of his union with Christ.