Jeremiah 17:8 – He 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. (NIV)
Trees have always fascinated me, especially their ability to put roots into the tiniest scrap of soil, to cling to the edge of a cliff, or to wrap themselves around a large boulder. I've noticed that, when a seed finds even a fragment of soil in the crack of a boulder or a cliff, it will grow. Sometimes the tree may have to grow straight out from the rock at first, but, as the years go by, it gradually turns towards the sky, its source of light.
When I look at these clinging trees, not nurtured in the rich soil of the forest, I'm reminded of people who may have had a rough start in life. Perhaps they haven't been born in a nurturing home, or have had little opportunity to experience the love of God. However, like the clinging tree, once the seed is planted, their spiritual roots take hold in the soil, and they begin to grow. Often, at first, they aren't facing in the same direction as older Christians think they should be. They have to bend around the rock or the side of the cliff, and more roots have to dig into the soil, in order for their spiritual growth to be supported. But eventually, like the tree, they respond by growing towards the light, tall and upright, a testimony to the strength of their roots, anchored in the Word of God.
Sometimes we, who have been Christians for some time, are critical of the apparent lack of growth in new Christians. We forget how little soil, or teaching, they have been anchored in, in the past, and we need to take the time to be their mentors, adding new Biblical truths, so that the soil will become rich, and the seedling will grow towards the light of the world, Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Dear God, give us patience as we encourage and nurture the younger Christians to become rooted and grounded in Your Word, so that they may grow to become strong. Amen.