It’s the time of year when plants push their way through the dirt and bloom. It’s also the time of year storms ravage growth. The other evening, I walked around my backyard in the dark picking up small limbs scattered by high winds.
Sometimes a plant looks ravaged above the surface, as if there is nothing left to salvage, but if the root remains strong, the plant gradually recuperates from the trauma and begins to grow again.
Sometimes a plant seems stable and unshakable by all outer appearances. Yet there is a decay under the soil where others don’t see. Eventually the weakened or diseased root system can no longer sustain the support the plant needs.
It’s important to know how securely you are rooted and how vulnerable you are. It’s difficult to assess when you’re in the middle of a storm. All you can do at times is hang on. But when the storm passes, and you assess the damage to your soul, you can begin to heal and grow.
A storm doesn’t always pass through quickly and viciously. A slow moving system that lingers can do as much damage.
I’ve seen the effects of both. I’ve seen people who looked like everything was fine but suddenly withered. I’ve seen people who looked as if they weren’t going to be able to hang on much longer, but their strength was deeply rooted, and they not only survived but thrived.
An authentic faith does that for you. It transforms you. It doesn’t take away storms. It holds no umbrella over you. It roots you. But you have to constantly and humbly consider the truth of your faith. You have to journey, not coast or assume. You have to be willing to change, to go through some tough stuff to be strengthened, to approach life with a posture that might not always be comfortable. There will be some times your life doesn’t look like a beautifully blooming plant, but you’ll learn that’s not the most valuable quality you want.