In Pastor Jeff's Blog

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 2:7

Last year we had a couple of trees cut down as part of a building project at home. When we got the estimate for stump removal my accountant (who happens to be my wife) thought we could do it on our own. And by “we” she meant me.

I attacked the first stump with shovel and axe, and after two hours of work that rivals any CrossFit workout, I got the stump out. Feeling pretty proud of myself, I went after the second stump a few days later (when I could move again without pain). After three hours of work that made me ready to meet Jesus, the stump wasn’t budging. I had a buddy come over with a truck and a chain to yank the thing out. Instead, it nearly yanked my buddy’s hitch right off his vehicle. Much to my accountant’s dismay, we called in a professional.

When I asked the pro why the first tree yielded so much more easily than the second he described the different root systems of the two trees. The second tree was more mature. “The tap root,” he said, “goes down nearly as far as the tree went up.” No wonder I couldn’t budge it!

According to my birth certificate, I’m a mature adult. But I’m asking myself how mature my spiritual root system is. When I consider how easily I can be blown over by an unexpected challenge or a poorly timed word, I’m confronted with the reality that I have a lot of growing yet to do. I want the roots of my faith to grow deeply into the love of Christ, so deeply that they tap into the spiritual reservoir that no drought can dry. I want to bear fruit even in the driest of seasons (Psalm 1).

Dwelling in Scripture, practicing meditation, prayer, weekly worship, generous stewardship and selfless service – these are just some of the practices of grace that deepen our spiritual roots. It isn’t a quick process. It is, as Eugene Peterson once said, “a long obedience in the same direction.”

Soon, we’ll plant some new trees. I pray that my roots will grow right along with theirs.

Jeff Marian serves as lead pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, MN

Recent Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search