We’re gearing up for the first VOUS Girl of 2023. There’s really nothing like it — thousands of women of all ages, from all walks of life, gathered together to lift up the name of Jesus. It’s the most special time of encouragement, worship, and community. A true sisterhood of strength for every season.
What better way to prepare our hearts than with a weekly devotional?
Over the next few weeks, we’ll pull treasures out of Jeremiah 17:7-8. It reads, “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.”
This verse paints a picture of a large, flourishing tree planted by a river. The tree is vibrant, full of branches alive with green leaves swaying in the wind. It’s the kind of tree that invites you to sit under its shade and listen to the leaves rustle in the gentle breeze as the river flows steadily nearby. It’s an invitation to true peace — a place to pause, take a deep breath, and rest.
God creatively weaves imagery like this all throughout scripture, often using trees to convey his message. In fact, trees are the most frequently mentioned living thing in the Bible apart from God and humans. From the first chapter in Genesis to the end of Revelation, we often find trees at pivotal moments in Biblical stories. This idea that humans are like trees is actually a repeating theme throughout the Bible. So what could God be saying to us in Jeremiah?
From the bottom of a tree to the tippy top, from roots to branches, there are different truths to discover. Each week leading up to VOUS Girl, we’ll focus on a different portion of the tree, starting first with the foundation: the roots.
A tree doesn’t start as a fully grown tree — it begins as a seed. Full of mystery and potential, a seed planted underground begins to break. The roots start growing deep under the soil before we ever see a sprout above ground.
The roots gather and transport nutrients from the soil, making them vital to the life of the tree. Hidden underground, the roots are the unseen sustainer. We are sustained by a God we can’t physically see — it’s crucial that we continually go back to the secret place to spend time with the source of true life.
Roots also serve as an anchor to the tree, keeping it firmly planted and upright. Remember what Jeremiah wrote: “Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.” God is our anchor, the support system who keeps us upright. He is the author and finisher of our faith who has masterfully written each of our stories. Nothing, not one single thing, is outside of his sight and care. His face is turned toward us, gazing at us with love and pride as he calls us his beloved daughters. Time and time again, he shows himself as trustworthy. There’s no safer place to put our hope and confidence than in him.
It’s worth pausing and asking ourselves honestly — how are our roots? Are they strong and deep or shallow and stunted? No matter the answer, the good news is that we can live the life that’s offered in Jeremiah. We don’t have to be bothered by external circumstances or worried about a drought. Our lives can flourish with a never-ending supply of fruit — and it all starts with the roots.
Call to Action: Over the next week, set aside some time to pause and ask God to reveal the status of your spiritual roots. Spend time in prayer and reflect on the following questions:
- In what ways has God shown himself as trustworthy in your life?
- Are there any places where you are struggling to fully trust God? How can you make him your hope and confidence in those areas?
- What practical steps can you take to strengthen your roots and deepen your relationship with God?