by Calven Celliers
As someone who enjoys gardening, and watching plants flourish and grow, I am always amazed at the capacity of some plants to spring back to life even after I may have written them off. Once, I had to get a tree feller in to cut down a tree. I decided to leave the stump in the ground as the pedestal for a bird bath. Not too long thereafter, maybe a season or so, the ‘pedestal of my bird bath’ started sprouting new shoots despite the fact that the stump looked deader than dead. The unseen roots of the tree were still nourishing and sustaining the outward stump.
“7 Even a tree has more hope! If it is cut down, it will sprout again and grow new branches.
8 Though its roots have grown old in the earth and its stump decays,
9 at the scent of water it will bud and sprout again like a new seedling.” (Job 14: 7 – 9NLT)
Job, in his pain, observed that even a tree that is cut down can sprout and live again, on one condition – its roots are still in the soil! When a tree is uprooted from the ground it cannot survive, no matter how much water and manure you give it. In our own lives we may go through some very tough seasons, seasons where it feels like there is no hope, and we are barely standing because of the difficulties and onslaught we’re facing. But as Job assures us, new life can come and hope can once again be restored. No situation is ever hopeless for the Lord, and nothing is ever beyond His reach.
The growth of a plant will only be as healthy as its roots are strong and deep. Roots provide nourishment for a tree by drawing water and nutrients from the soil and delivering these nutrients to the fruit-bearing parts of the tree above ground. Even during a drought, the tree’s roots will burrow deep into the earth, into hard-to-reach places, to seek out moisture so that the tree may continue bearing fruit. Roots also provide stability and strength to keep a tree planted firmly in the soil. This steadfast footing comes in handy and prevents the tree from being uprooted when buffeted by storms and high winds.
“God uses circumstances to develop our character. Circumstances are simply character-building opportunities, and the more difficult they are, the greater the potential for building spiritual muscle and moral fibre. What happens outwardly in your life is not as important as what happens inside you. Your circumstances are temporary, but your character will last forever.” (Rick Warren)
Think of it like this, roots are what sustain a tree. Leaves grow and are shed. The hope of restoration of a tree is not in its leaves (outward appearance). Leaves and flowers decorate a tree. No matter how many leaves a tree has, if it is cut down, the leaves will wither.
No matter how dry you may be feeling today, and no matter how void of hope your current circumstances may appear, it’s such a blessing to know that our Lord is well able to rescue you and bring a new lease of life upon you. There is always hope that our God can make our lives blossom once again. Just as He brought forth water from a rock in the middle of a desert for the thirsty Israelites, and filled up a very dry valley with water, without a drop of rain, to provide for the armies of Judah and Israel, so too God can, and will, breathe life back into your heart, revive lost hope, and make a way through impossible situations. But here’s the key, stay rooted in Him!