I love my little vegetable garden. It always amazes me how I can plant a few seeds in the ground and, with relatively minimal effort on my part, can later reap an incredible harvest of good things over the summer. Sure, I need to weed and water, but those seeds sprout and produce all by themselves, according to God’s creation plan.
Lettuce, however, is somewhat of an exception to the “minimal effort” claim. Lettuce seeds are very small and difficult to separate at planting; so after they sprout, they have to be thinned out to allow room for growth. This spring I diligently separated the young seedlings, transplanting them and watering them with care. Shortly thereafter, we had a heavy thunderstorm. When I surveyed my little seedlings the next morning, most of them had been uprooted and washed away by the flood of rain. Bummer!
Of course, all kinds of biblical passages came to mind, including Jesus’ parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-9). I immediately thought how my little seedlings, “since they had no root, they withered away.” (Matthew 3:6, ESV) That was the problem with my poor tiny transplants: they had no root, so they washed away.
As Christians, we need strong roots, or we will be easily swept away by the storms of life, “by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” (Ephesians 4:14)
But how do we get strong roots? The apostle Paul advises us to “take up the whole armor of God, that [we] may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” (Ephesians 6:13). That armor includes truth, righteousness, the readiness given by the Gospel, and faith; and then we take the one offensive weapon in that passage, the Word of God. Paul also cautions us to “pray at all times in the Spirit.” (6:18) So, prayer, the Word of God and the Holy Spirit will help establish and grow strong roots in us. “…the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” (1 Peter 5:10)
Lord, strengthen us to establish strong roots and stand firm, to be “a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.” (Isaiah 63:3)