"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
How deep would you say your spiritual roots are? As the story of the 3 Little Pigs portrays, as does the house built on a solid ground story in the Bible, we know that short roots, and failure to water are a deadly combination when not cultivated. The pigs had their bricks and the house had its solid rock but roots are grow-able and can be extended way beyond friends and family in our spiritual walk. If they are not watered they can wither away!
I have experienced this first hand this past year, being mostly away from my church home and immediate family and it can be a very challenging time of faith. There are times when I have felt lost in a maze of work and no play, no support, and yet there have been times of faith validation and bonding with the Lord. Until you move away from your comfort zone you may never realize how deep your spiritual roots really are.
When the Bible speaks of spiritual warfare I listen, I feel it going on. But yet, when I pick up the 3 comfort givers I read every day, my Chuck Swindoll book on Abraham's walk of faith, my men's devotional and then the recovery Bible, there is at least a truce in my mind. I feel connected and years of working on those roots start to come forth in my soul and I feel the presence of God.
They were watered by great heroes of faith like Don & Susie Schultz, my mentor Wayne Collins and Bill Long who gave me such acceptance.
They were seasoned by countless Don McLaughlin, Jody Vickery and Dusty Rush sermons. They were extended by so many supporters in 12 Step meetings (they must remain anonymous), and helped to grow by people I so admired like the Combee's, the Dowdy's, the Thames, Raye and Lynda Morris and so many others.
The Benedictine nuns at Linton Hall, the Christian Brothers at St. John's, even Bruce the greeter at North Atlanta, all of the prior mentioned come to mind when I ever think of feeling low in my faith. These are my roots that I cling to because they are life lines from the Lord that provide energy in every season whether stormy or calm.
You who remain anonymous, you are the ones who I am accountable to, the ones whom I must also help to water. And my blood family that has grown so large in the past few years, you provide the roots that propel me to be a better man, a better father and whether I am with you or not, you are always and forever in my heart.
Because of you all, and because of that flowing amazing grace from God, my leaves are always green!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.