Roots that run deep

Thursday, June 11

scripture reading: Ephesians 3:14-21; romans 8:38-39




I have always loved having a front-row seat for a good thunderstorm. Last Wednesday, I was in my office at Dock when that powerful, fast-moving storm blew through. You could just sense that this was going to be a significant weather event. So I practically ran downstairs and out onto the porch of Detweiler House.

There is a massive redwood tree in the lawn, right near the driveway. Some of you will know which tree I’m talking about. I’m guessing it is at least 60 feet tall and probably close to 6 feet around at the base of the trunk. It’s a BIG tree. And in the early moments of that storm, I saw that tree bend like it was made of rubber. The wind was powerful. While a few of the trees on campus lost branches, the redwood barely even lost any leaves. One of the reasons for that is because its roots run deeper than most.

In Ephesians 3, Paul is offering a prayer for the church at Ephesus. Paul had spent three years in Ephesus getting this church off the ground; they were like family to him. And that is how he begins his prayer, by emphasizing his unity with the Ephesian believers. We all have the same heavenly Father, he says, so we are all part of the same family. He prays that God will give the Ephesian Christians power “in your inner being” so that Christ may dwell in their hearts, through faith.

Paul goes on to pray that the Ephesians, rooted and established in love, will have the power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. In chapter 4, Paul completes the thought by imploring the Ephesians to make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in their fellowship, by being completely humble and gentle and patient, bearing with one another in love.

This prayer is not just for the Ephesian church. It is meant for us, too. If we want to receive God’s richest blessings, it is important that we stay in contact with other believers in the body of Christ. By now we probably have a new understanding of the idea that isolation from other believers results in being cut off from God’s power. But we can never be cut off from His love. His love for us is complete. It is wide; it reaches every corner of our experience. It is long; it continues the length of our lives. It is high; it celebrates life’s joys with us. It is deep; it reaches to the depths of our discouragement and despair.

When you feel isolated or cut off from God, remember that you can never be lost to His love. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

When our roots sink deep into the rich soil of God’s love, there is no storm that will be able to shake us.

Prayer: Lord, when we sink our roots in your love, and remain connected to each other, we can weather every storm—and experience life at its fullest.

Pastor Jay