Roots! Anchor! Rock! These words have been popping up everywhere since my post last week entitled, "A Journey Through the Desert." I mentioned that I was "walking" through a desert of sorts, and was thirsting for a spiritual refreshing because I was finding it difficult to focus and even though I know that God is right here beside me, I am finding it difficult to "feel" Him. Many of you have told me that I am not alone in that "desert" because you, too, are walking in it.
I told one of my bloggin' buddies that I needed to find a good Bible study book, ladies retreat, or some project to focus on that would be a source of spiritual refreshment. Friday afternoon, I stopped at a local Christian bookstore to find a good book. This particular bookstore is really small and doesn't have a large selection to choose from. I looked over the books on the shelves but none really "jumped" out at me. I settled on one entitled, A Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George. I am not familiar with her, but the description of the book on the back seemed very interesting. The description contained these words: "Genuine peace and joy comes when women follow God in every area of their lives - and become women after His heart." This statement peaked my interest, so I bought the book.
The book lay on my nightstand Friday night, Saturday and Sunday without being opened. For some reason, I just could not bring myself to open it. Sunday after church, Mr. Plant Lady, my dad, and I went to a seafood restaurant along with my sister and her family to celebrate our birthdays (She and I both have birthdays in July). My niece and her son brought pictures from a recent trip they took to see relatives in Pennsylvania. The usual kinds of photos - my nephew in the pool, the Crayola Crayon Museum (I didn't know there was such a place), and the usual scenery one takes pictures of on a trip. Then came the unusual - the photo of a tree growing on a ROCK! They say a picture is worth a thousand words so here is 3000!
Have you every seen such? How does it do that? It looks like it's been there quite some time. A fellow I know who works with the US Forest Service could look at this picture and tell the approximate age of the tree. It has survived many storms! Its roots are anchored pretty well, don't you think?
We had a great lunch and after the "Happy Birthday" songs had been sung, we came home hoping to take a "Sunday afternoon" nap. I just love those, don't you? As I lay down, I glanced at the book on the nightstand. "Maybe tonight after church, I can start on the book," I thought.
The Sunday evening service was a praise and thanksgiving service. God has done great things in our church! He had been faithful in providing the funds for us to pay off a $75,000 note on our Family Life Center in a matter of 10 months -rather than the 10 years the note called for!
To God Be The Glory! It was done by the "widow's mite" because we had very few who were able to give large sums of money. I can remember the whole church uniting in prayer around the altar when we decided to borrow the money to finish the inside. We had "paid as we go" for the main construction but were unable to occupy the building unless it was finished and we were needing the space for many of the church activities that we had started. The Lord Provides!
Returning home from the wonderful service, I was tired and I crawled into bed and picked up the book on the nightstand. I began reading. When I reached Chapter 2 entitled "A Heart Abiding in God's Word," I read these words: "We must nurture a root system!" Later in the chapter, these words: "Roots are unseen - your spiritual roots are underground, invisible to others." A few paragraphs later, "Roots are for taking in," then "Roots are for storage," and finally "Roots are for support." WOW! I understand!
The purchase of the book - only because it was there at the bookstore, not because I thought it would be that good (I guess I'm saying I just bought it to be buying it, if you understand my meaning), the photographs that spoke for themselves and then the content of the book that I (or God) had postponed me reading until I saw those pictures and then received the message about the roots "anchored" in the ROCK. He was preparing me for a message! I can now "hear" Him again! He is leading me out of the desert and I can feel His presence again! Tears of Joy are falling right now.
He wants me to spread my ROOTS and ANCHOR in the ROCK! The SOLID ROCK! My roots are for taking in, storing, and support. My prayer is that I withstand the storms as well as this tree that is anchored in the rock, and that I find nourishment in HIM.
"He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." - Jeremiah 17:8 (NIV)