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Growing deep

I planted more little trees this week.  Sad to say, several little trees had set in large pots for two years, yes two years, waiting to go into the ground where trees should go.  My last few years have been uncommon and too much consumed with other things.  Somehow these trees had  survived hot summers and extremely cold winters with little enough care from me.  This spring I was really surprised to see them greening, living in spite of my lack of nurturing and the harsh winter before.

This year I determined to get them in the ground and give them a real fighting chance to grow tall and beautiful like trees were made to do.

When I tried to move the pot from the place it had stood for two years, it would not budge.  It was not just that I didn’t have strength to move it.  There was something holding it where it sat.  I pried the bottom of the pot up with a shovel and realized roots had grown through the pot into the ground.  Several roots had pushed through to reach into the soil so much that I had to clip them to move the little pot-bound trees and loose them to plant elsewhere.

And I perceived that the small trees had lived because of those roots.  They had pushed down into the ground, into the rocky soil where they stood because they needed something besides the pot of dirt and little watering I gave them.  Their pot was not sufficient for them to live so they reached for something else, something more sufficient, something beyond themselves and their present environment.

I learned a lesson from the little trees.

My present circumstance, my current environment will not be enough to nurture me, to sustain me enough to grow.

I’ve been there.  We’ve all been there when today was just too hard and tomorrow promised much of the same.  I’ve wondered how I would muster up the strength to go forward, put one foot in front of the other.  Because I just knew there was not enough in me to keep me pressing on.

That’s when I have to reach for something more, something deeper than myself.  I have to put down roots into a strength that is beyond my own.

I reach for the Word of God which is steadfast, sure, and true.  It is beyond me and my circumstances.  It comforts and strengthens.  It guides and instructs.  It has stood the test of time.  It is the place where I can go when nothing else makes sense.  I find solace and wisdom.

I will never be enough for this world and the challenges it places in front of me.  It does not matter how many times I shout “I can do it by myself.  I will pull myself up and draw from my own strength.”  I soon run out of steam. There isn’t enough of me to deal with the hardness of life.

And as much as I value the love and support of family and friends, even they are not enough.  I must push through to something bigger and stronger than all of us.

I call out to, reach for, press into the Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who is above all, who made it all, who sustains the heavens above and the earth below.  He is the source of my strength and my life.

Roots.  They must grow deep for the tree to grown tall.

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Sunday grace

I planted a tree yesterday, small and green.  I dug the hole, plopped it in the ground and encouraged it with “Grow little tree.”

It will take a long time to fulfill my wish.

I may not be alive to see it reach its full height, spreading its branches to sway in the wind, offering shade and shelter.  I planted it with hope that others will see it and enjoy its beauty.

Life is like that.  We plant seeds along our journey.  At times we are allowed the pleasure of watching those seeds produce and flourish.  Other times we wonder if the seeds are growing at all.  Sometimes we never pass that way again to recognize the product of a seed of kindness or love.

I would like to keep planting throughout my life, trees and flowers to be enjoyed by future generations, deeds of kindness, words of encouragement.  Maybe I will not see the final result.  I will leave that to the Master Gardner who ultimately brings forth bread from the earth.

I’ll just keep planting.

Sunday grace, friends.

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