The Root of the Matter

Life Notes—August 2, 2012 

“Then I thought, ‘I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days like the phoenix; my roots spread out to the waters, with the dew all night on my branches; my glory was fresh with me, and my bow ever new in my hand.’”  Job 29:18-20

Our hanging baskets struggle the most, followed closely by the other potted plants.  The flower beds do slightly better, with our shrubs and trees doing the best.  The heat and lack of rain create crippling stress on plants, and some deal with it better than others.  Our plants are fortunate on at least two fronts.  First, they were planted in an area without major restrictions on water usage.  Second, they were planted at our home where one of us is out with a hose daily.  Hanging baskets and potted plants must be watered daily.  Some plants wither from the heat alone, regardless of their access to water.  The river birch trees are quick to drop leaves and look neglected, in spite of adequate watering.  The red oak outside our bedroom stands tall, aloof and apparently unaffected.  Yet the heat takes its toll, even if some plants whine less than others. 

Heat stress is visibly apparent in the plant world under these harsh environmental conditions.  Plants survive and thrive in this type of summer in large part due to the depth of their root system.  Trees like Mr. Oak, with roots spread deep and wide, tolerate stress well.  Flowers and grass, with their entire root systems in the top few inches of soil, struggle mightily and need lots of human and/or divine intervention to survive. 

We humans suffer under stress, too.  Heat and drought impact us, for sure, but our stressors are often less visible.  Aches and worries and conflict and social pressures take their toll on us—not just in the heat of the summer, but year-round.  And some of us are so good at putting up an unaffected front, like Mr. Oak, that our internal condition may not be readily apparent.  Some deal better with stress than others, and like their leafy counterparts I suspect it has a lot to do with their roots.  Some people have a well-grounded spiritual life, with roots anchored deep and wide in scripture, prayer and a strong faith-life.  Others have a well-rooted family life, drawing strength and reinvigorating nutrition from a stable and loving family.  And others, by choice or by other factors, have shallow roots dangling in the poorest of soils, and the first signs of drought dry them up, and they wither and crumble.  Christ calls us to plant our roots deeply in his word and life, to refresh and renew, where no earthly drought can penetrate. 

The seven-week sermon series on David concludes this Sunday, with Stan Hughes downtown and Mitch at the west campus.  The sermon title will be “David‘s Legacy,” based on 2 Samuel 23:1-7.  Life worship is at 10:00 AM in Brady Hall, traditional worship is at 8:30 and 11:00.  West campus worship is at 9:00 and 11:00. 

Come home to church this Sunday. A strong foundation helps weather many storms…

Greg Hildenbrand, Life Music Coordinator

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