August Devotion - Roots That Go Deep
It had been a hot, dry summer - no rain for over sixty days. The grass was the first to turn dry and brittle, with its shallow root system giving up all hope of finding moisture. It would have been too costly to water it and not the best use of the water supply. I did, however, water the flowers. I loved them and carried water so that the leaves would stay green and the blooms would keep on coming.
I'd noticed a weed growing by itself in an empty flower bed. It wasn't causing any trouble and I was busy with my flowers, so I left the weed alone. Even though I did not water it; I noticed that it kept growing.
Then one day, as I carried water to my flower garden, I noticed the weed was developing a flower head. I was curious to see what it might look like, but I still saved my water and hard work for the roses and petunias. The weed grew taller.
As the flower head developed, I could see touches of yellow. It occurred to me that it was not a weed at all but a sunflower, planted there by accident by some bird or chipmunk. Then one morning it tipped back its head at the rising sun and opened every one of its stunningly vivid yellow petals for the first time. It was a glorious sight, standing straight and tall all by itself. And without having received one bit of care from me. I thought about the miracle of its growth. It must be very strong and drought resistant. Its roots must go down very deep to be able to find water for nourishment.
There are people like that rogue sunflower. They thrive through the hardest of times. They experience the droughts of life, but they remain strong. They get their sustenance from some mysterious, invisible source and continue to grow. They even bloom in the midst of their trouble.
There are people like the dry, brittle grass. They flourish only in the good times - when everything is going well. Depending on good times produces shallow roots. But when there is a drought – lack of health, lack of money or lack of love – those shallow roots can’t find the life-giving refreshment. They have no hope and they flounder.
I want to be like that hardy sunflower that bloomed without my watering and tender care. To do this I must send my roots down deep. They must be firmly planted in Jesus Christ, the Source of life, where there is a constant flow of living water. I want to be the one who blooms even in the hardest times, because I do have hope and I have God’s promises.
Jesus said, “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” John 7:38 (ESV)
The prophet Isaiah said,
“And the LORD will guide you continually
and satisfy your desire in scorched places
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters do not fail.” Isaiah 58:11 (ESV)
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