Roots are essential to nature. Tree roots support massive trunks, branches, and leaves, despite strong winds and earth soaking rain. Roots draw nourishment through the trunk allowing growth and productivity.
The roots of our souls strengthen us through life. Some are shallow as we are unable to burrow deeply into life’s circumstances, leaving us vulnerable. Others are deep and immobile leaving us trapped by circumstance; a boulder or burden that pulls us down. Some roots are deep and hold us grounded and provide strength as they send nourishment to our souls and bodies.
Relationships with family and friends ground us and give us purpose and joy. It’s hard to sever relationships that change due to geographic or life events that uproot us. While roots may draw us back to family, it can cause losses. Meaningful friendships are lost or changed forever. Familiar and content routines go away.
Tree roots are flexible. They adjust to their terrain and adapt to construction and sidewalks. Our roots adjust to the changes in our lives. Career changes, family crises, good fortune or bad; roots shape to our surroundings. The people in our lives change, at times causing us to feel unsettled until we are able to recalibrate and grow new, but different roots. A lack of fertile ground, perhaps temporary, may lead us to spread our roots further than we like, stretching our comfort zones.
Once we are shifted to a new location and have established a root base, we can grow again. Reconnect or develop new relationships. Reconnect with family members whose roles may have changed because of age or health. Our roots allow us to change our own roles even as roots change for drought, winds, and rain. Stability allows strength.
When a forest fire sweeps through a wooded area, at times the fire may be so intense that it destroys the tree – roots and all. Other times the tree is burned but roots survive. Shallow roots may be gone, but the deep, main root is able to help the tree rebuild. The tree adjusts to a new self, even as we adjust to our new selves following life events.
God provides roots of spiritual meaning that draw us to Him. The Bible provides nourishment, even as water and soil provide for trees in nature. “They 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)