We just hosted 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.
Pastor DawnChere shared an incredible word about being established, reminding us that we are rooted, built up, and overflowing. We wanted to continue the conversation 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 places 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 last in Revelation, we often find trees at pivotal moments in Biblical stories. This comparison of humans to trees is actually a repeating theme throughout the Bible. So what could God be trying to tell us?
From the bottom of a tree to the tippy top, from roots to branches, there are different truths to discover. Over the next few weeks, we’ll highlight 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. Just like a seed, God works on the hidden parts of us, restoring us to our original design.
The roots gather and transport nutrients from the soil, making them vital to the life of the tree. Hidden underground, the roots are the tree’s unseen sustainer. We are sustained by a God we can’t physically see. Matthew 6:6 tells us to “pray to your Father who is in the secret place…” The Father is already there, waiting for us to draw ourselves away from the world for a minute and meet him in the secret place, the place where it’s just him and us. Just like the roots are vital to the tree’s life, time in the secret place is vital to ours. It’s there that our needs our met, our souls are refreshed, and our roots grow deep.
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 and his eyes are on 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’re always just one decision away from the life that’s offered in Jeremiah. Moment by moment, we can choose to make Jesus our hope and confidence. 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?