Shallow Roots


Trees that have shallow roots are typically found in places where there is plenty of water near the surface. They never have to grow deep roots, because they never lack for sufficient moisture.

There are two problems with trees that have shallow roots:

1. They require constant watering.

2. It doesn’t take much to blow them over.

Most of us would probably admit that we like it when life is easy. We don’t want to struggle. We avoid pain and conflict whenever possible. We prefer peace and success. We like it when there is plenty of water near the surface.

Unfortunately, those times do little to prepare us for the kind of work God has in mind. God can’t use believers with shallow roots. He didn’t call us so that we could sit passively, soaking up His blessings. He called us so that we could bear much fruit, and you don’t do that with a wimpy root system.

It would be fine if we lived in a time of peaceful, sunny days, but we live in stormy times. Our enemy will do everything in his power to uproot us and blow us over. If our roots are at the surface, we won’t last long.

That’s why God keeps moving our water supply. When we were new believers, He put it near the surface to help us grow quickly. But as we mature in Him, He wants to grow our roots deeper. In order to help us, He takes our water supply deeper and deeper so that we have to search for it each time it moves.

You know what I’m talking about. “God, where are you?” “Why won’t you answer my prayers?” “Why won’t you tell me your will in this situation?” “How come you won’t fix this?” “Why are you letting me struggle so much?” “God? …God?”

Of course God is still there, but He’s moved just out of reach. We’ve got to search Him out. We’ve got to stretch our roots deeper to find the source of Living Water. He’s not going to make it easy, because growth comes from the struggle.

Over and over again, this process takes place in our relationship with God. It can be painful and scary and incredibly frustrating, but it’s an essential part of our spiritual growth. God is developing a tap root that will sustain us during the dry times and maintain us during the stormy times.

If you’re going through a dry spell in your relationship with God, keep searching. He’s closer than you think.

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4 Comments

Filed under Spiritual Growth

4 responses to “Shallow Roots

  1. Pingback: Boink Blogs

  2. grahamprouty

    It takes trees a long time to grow too! I always want to hurry the process.

  3. Nice post . . .
    I’m mixing the water metaphors but the idea of God moving our water supply deeper cause our roots to grow reminds me of learning to swim. Remember doing the doggie-paddle towards a parent/teacher who kept moving further away in the pool, “A little further; a little further . . .”?
    As you say, He’s got us in his hands the whole time, doesn’t he? Praises.

  4. Great analogy, Ruth. I remember doing that with my kids just to get them to gain a little more confidence and skill. Sounds like a God thing.

    Pastor P., you buy all your trees full grown!

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