Sunday, April 15, 2012

Deeper Roots, Abundant Waters

(Click the image to enlarge.)
While on our wild ride last summer, Ted and I learned to trust God in a much deeper way and to realize the richness of His love can carry us, no matter what we may be facing in life. Surrendered in those darkest hours, we found ourselves infused with grace, bathed in God's beauty and wrapped in His love.

Yesterday, I was privileged to share our story at the Women's Breakaway in Chilton. I used the tree image as a handout to summarize how we need to strengthen our all-important roots. Each of the roots plays an integral part in stabilizing the tree to weather the storms of life.

After both presentations, several women shared with me their stories of strength through adversity or told me this message was exactly what they needed to hear. One woman told me through great tears of joy that she had come to know the truly indescribable peace that passes all understanding amid a hardship in her life.

My friend Barb noted how this immediately opened the way for these women to connect on a deeper level -- it normally takes much longer to develop that level of intimacy. "God loves relationship," she said.

See how important it is for each of us to share with others what God has done in our lives? Whether it be one-on-one or in a group, these stories encourage and strengthen our faith and give God glory. We all face circumstances requiring strength beyond our own.

We can't do it ourselves -- we need Him. As we stretch our roots deep into God's ever-flowing streams of refreshment, we practice (practice, practice) abiding in Him. There is nothing in this world that can compare to the refreshment we find there. It is always, always there -- in abundance! If we remain in Him, we can bear much fruit.

I closed the presentation with the profound words from a card David and Debbie brought up to the hospital last summer:

A mighty wind blew night and day.
It stole the oak tree's leaves away,
Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark
Until the oak was tired and stark.
But still the oak tree held its ground
While other trees fell all around.

The weary wind gave up and spoke,
"How can you still be standing, Oak?"
The oak tree said, "I know that you
Can break each branch of mine in two,
Carry every leaf away,
Shake my limbs and make me sway.

But I have roots stretched in the earth,
Growing stronger since my birth.
You'll never touch them, for you see,
They are the deepest part of me.

Until today, I wasn't sure
Of just how much I could endure.
But now I've found, with thanks to you,
I'm stronger than I ever knew."

Dear Father, thank you for your bountiful love and amazing strength. Help us to stretch our roots deep into the abundant waters you so freely give to all who put their hope in you.

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  1. I was hoping to connect with you Saturday but with so many there I did not get to. I always enjoy reading your blog. Thanks so much for sharing and helping me grow.

  2. Thanks for sharing Marilyn. I couldn't attend but this is so powerful. This will help me in my walk and make my roots grow deeper.