Rooted in Christ
By Carin LeRoy –
For years I grew African Violets, collecting them in every color—pink, violet, lavender and purple. I loved seeing their tiny delicate flowers bloom. Because African Violets are fussy plants, it took time for me to learn how to encourage good growth. They need constant care. Too much water rots their roots, while too little makes them wither and die. Bump them, and you break their brittle stems. The right amount of filtered light helps them flourish, and they like a constant temperature range—not too hot or cold. The right amount of fertilizer encourages dark leaves while too much burns them.
One day I wondered what caused the difference between two of my plants. I found that the plant that had copious blooms was root-bound. The one without many blossoms wasn’t. Plenty of dirt and the plant became comfortable. Without a strong root system it didn’t have the ability to provide generous flowers. But when the roots were squeezed tightly in the pot, the result was a bountiful, colorful display.
That reminds me of our lives as Christians. When life is easy, we tend to coast through life. Others might not see much growth in our spiritual walk. When life is hard, we have a need to rely on God to get us through. When we feel squeezed with the pressure of hard times, God has the ability to teach and prune us. He begins to develop strong roots of faith in our life as we learn to trust Him. When those lessons are learned, we bloom. Others begin to see the beauty of change in our lives.
I believe God allows hard times because we may not learn the lessons He has for us any other way. It is during those difficulties that we become pliable and willing to learn and change. Just as I cared for my African Violets to encourage their flowers, God lovingly cares for us. He desires us to bloom and become a sweet fragrance for Christ. He wants us to bear fruit for Him. If you are facing a difficulty, let it be a time when God can grow strong roots of faith in your heart. Trust Him. Soon you will see beautiful blooms of growth in your life.
PRAYER: Lord, give me strong roots of faith in my heart as I learn to trust You through hard times. Keep me mindful that You are working in my life to help me grow and bear fruit for You.
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, so that, because you have been rooted and grounded in love, you may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and thus know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3: 17-19 NET).
Today’s devotional is by Carin LeRoy, wife to Dale and mother of three grown children and one almost-grown teenager. She has been a missionary with Pioneers since 1982. Her passions are family, missions, piano, and writing to challenge others to live faithful lives for God.