“6 And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. 7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” (Colossians 2:6-7, NLT)
Digging deep is a continual process. And for that, I am thankful.
Some time has passed since the previous Digging Deep post. I was struggling to weave the words together for this post and I needed to let it sit. Three weeks ago my extended family gathered at my grandparent’s farm. There was laughter, some tears, and stories recalled. Over the course of three days, various family members were in and out at various times, but on Saturday evening most were sitting around a campfire or playing in the yard. Papaw would have loved it. It was one of his favorite things to do. Any family get-together was good, but there was something about it being outside, in the middle of the summer, around a campfire with the sounds of laughter coming from the youngest playing in the yard. It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since he went to be with Jesus.
Digging deep is a continual process. Roots take time. It’s not a quick process. As I looked around at my family, I was struck by the reality of the longevity of deeply rooted faith. Yes, Papaw was a gardener and he physically worked the land, producing some wonderfully delicious crops (I can taste the buttery corn on the cob just thinking about it!), but the physical fruit was only temporary. In his relationship with God, what Papaw planted was for the long haul. It was not a quick turn-around, but rather a lasting one.
In addition to being with family, the weekend held an opportunity for me to take a step back and a step forward at the same time. While being surrounded by the truth of what God can do when you dig your roots deep, I found myself flooded with memories and experiencing a rich, deep, genuine joy as I took both of my kids to experience church camp for the first time. Not too far from my grandparents’ farm, set back in the hills and woods of southern Indiana, sits 125 acres known as Wonder Valley Christian Camp. It would take multiple posts to go into the detail of the lessons learned, the challenging and building of faith, the eternal impact that I experienced growing up going to camp each summer. The Valley was, and is, a special place.
Here I was, standing on the same grounds, putting sheets on bunks in the same dorms, sitting in the same chapel, and walking the same hill, that I had 17+ years ago, but this time with my own kids. My childhood came full circle on that Saturday. My heart took a step back as I remembered, but it also took a step forward, because now it was their turn. I prayed it would be more than they could imagine. It was and they are already ready for next year!
Digging deep–it’s a process, an imperfect process that takes time. Give yourself grace, but keep rooted. When the soil is rich the roots will take hold. When strategically placed they become an anchor. As an anchor, they provide stability. Healthy roots won’t prevent the storms, but they allow you to withstand them. They act as a protector, as a means through which God allows the nutrients of His word to permeate. As a result, when you are rooted in God’s love, you will experience more than you can imagine, more than you could ask or think.
Dig deep, my friend. Dig deep and keep rooted.
14 “When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. 20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:14-21, NLT)