October 17, 2022


Near the end of August, I started digging up my strawberry bed. It was almost physically painful to do because I love my strawberries, but the plants haven't been producing as well the past few years, so it's time to replace them. It was also time because no matter how hard I work at keeping it weeded, there were trees coming up between the strawberry plants and I couldn't really dig out the roots without disturbing the strawberries. This is a hazard of living right at the edge of the woods. Not only are the tree roots spreading underground from the woods, but those trees drop a lot of seeds and it's impossible to get rid of them all.

Digging it up was interesting. There was such a variety of roots! There were some, weeds that had only taken root this summer mostly, that were easy to dig up because the roots weren't very thick and they didn't go down very far. There were the strawberry plant roots, which were quite thick and tangled together, so they had to be chopped apart with the edge of the shovel. And then there were those pesky tree roots. Some of them were so thick I had to get Paul to come out and deal with them because I just didn't have the strength.

If you've been reading these devotions for any length of time, you won't be surprised to know that wrestling with those roots made me think of a Bible verse. Jeremiah 17:7-8 says: 

"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."

It makes me wonder, how thick and deep are my spiritual roots? What about yours? Would we be bothered by the heat and drought of the troubles of life? Or would our trust in God be deep and strong enough to sustain us through those times?
How thick and deep are my spiritual roots | DevotedQuilter.com
We can't predict what kinds of trouble we will have in life or when it will come. We do know that hardships will come to everyone; they're just part of life. Whether it's the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, sickness, relationship issues or something else, we will have to deal with stuff. Though we would like to be, none of us are immune to the stuff of life. The question then becomes, how will we deal with it? Will the circumstances be enough to uproot us and make us turn our backs on God? Or will our trust in Him be stronger than the circumstances?

How do we grow those deep, strong roots? God said through Jeremiah that it is by trusting in Him and making Him our hope and our confidence. To me, that sounds like time spent with Him, through Bible reading and prayer. It sounds like leaning on God through the stuff of life, even the little stuff, so that we learn to trust that He can hold us up through it all.

Then, when our trust is in Him, our roots will be strong enough that even through the stuff of life, we'll stay vibrant and fruitful.

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