The Aspens

Sunday, November 6, 2022
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Ephesians 3:14-18 – For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. (NIV)

The goats love to chew the bark of the aspen trees in the corral — and when they do, the trees die. Then, I have to either cut the trees down or pull the smaller ones out of the ground, which I have discovered is not an easy thing to do. Even then, more aspen shoots continue to spring up. Not long ago, I read what Wikipedia has to say about aspens, and I discovered why pulling them out is so difficult and why they still keep growing.

    Aspens are aided by the rhizomatic nature of their root systems. Most aspens grow in large clonal colonies, derived from a single seedling, and spread by means of root suckers; new stems in the colony may appear at up to 30-40 m (98-131 ft) from the parent tree. Each individual tree can live for 40-150 years above ground, but the root system of the colony is long-lived. In some cases, this is for thousands of years, sending up new trunks as the older trunks die off above ground. For this reason, it is considered to be an indicator of ancient woodlands. … Some aspen colonies become very large with time, spreading about 1 m (3.3 ft) per year, eventually covering many hectares. They are able to survive forest fires, because the roots are below the heat of the fire, and new sprouts appear after the fire burns out.

How marvellous is this Creator God of ours! And what a great analogy the aspen tree root system is for the church of Jesus Christ. As the apostle Paul states, through Christ, we, "being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints" — in other words, with the church. The church of Jesus Christ is rooted and joined together in Him. Though at this time in history, the fires of division, discord, fighting, and apathy have separated her in a way that has never before been experienced, she is still the church rooted and established in Him. We cannot get away from this fact, no matter how hard we try. We are joined together through His love, whether we wish to acknowledge one another or not. What an awesome and inspiring truth, a truth that will enable her to survive the heat of our foolishness and still allow new sprouts of God's love to appear after this phase in history burns itself out, whether that will be when our Lord, Himself, reappears to take His people home, or whether the Holy Spirit will pour out revival upon the hearts of His people before the end of time. The church is one, and will remain one, rooted and established in Jesus Christ forever and ever.

So, let us not be discouraged by her many divisions. Rather, rooted and established in Christ, may we draw upon the power of His love more and more as we each continue to seek to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is His love, that in turn, we may have the wisdom and courage to grasp the hands of our brothers and sisters in Christ worldwide in His unity that truly makes us one.

Prayer: Father God, thank You that as Christians, no matter what our differences may be, we are rooted and established as one in Christ Jesus. Speak to our hearts and minds; pour out Your Spirit anew upon us, O God, that indeed, our oneness may be visible to the world through our love for one another. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <lynnephippsatlin@gmail.com>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you. Such encouragement. Good research.


    Lynne, thank you for this truth, reminding us that we are all One in Jesus Christ.


    Thank-you,
    I really needed to read this today.
    Thank-you.


    A wonderful truth, Lynne. The aspens sound somewhat our crepe myrtles. Wherever the roots go, so do new sprouts.


    Thank you, Lynne, what an awesome way to describe the unity and togetherness of the church as a whole, so well explained. Blessings.


    What a wonderful way to think about the church spread out around the world but still joined together. Thanks and blessings Lynne!


    Thanks, Lynne. What wonderful truths you find in nature!
    May the LORD continue to inspire your writing and your life.


    Thanks for sharing this great illustration, Lynne. Not only does the church have a strong foundation, but it also has an indestructible, firm root structure.


    Dear Lynne, may the power of the Holy Spirit continue to abide in you. May your ability to write these messages of the power and love of God be an instrument to bring others to Christ.
    Bless you.


    Morning Lynne,
    I needed your devotional this morning! We have been all wrapped up in baseball’s World Series as the Houston Astros were one of the two final teams. We lived in Houston for over 30 years and our kids (thanks to their grandfather, my Dad), loved sports and especially the Astros. Your devotional brought my attention back to where it should be.
    Thanks once more, Lynne.


    Dear Lynne, what a great analogy expressed in your devotional writing today. I feel for you having to deal with all those spreading roots of the Aspens. Not an easy chore for sure! However, in comparison, the love of Christ spreading through from person to person is a true delight for our lives and not a heavy chore. How much more peaceful our world will be if more people would become rooted in the love of Christ. Truly His ways bring the best of comfort and joy in our lives. Many blessings for these very special writings you do.


    Hi Lynne
    I want to clarify about the divisions you are referring to. If you mean the various denominations, I can see your point but if you are saying that all so called Churches are Christian then I have to disagree. Some denominations have walked away from the authority of Scripture by saying that many verses, chapters, and books of the Bible no longer apply as we know better and have progressed to a higher level of understanding. These denominations or local churches that have taken that stance are no longer in fellowship and part of the Family of Jesus unless they repent and turn back to the Lord.
    Blessings.


    Perfect Lynne! Blessings.


    Encouraging words for today. I love your example of the root system. I recall Jesus’ example of the VINE that provides life for the branches. There’s so many examples in His creation that our Father has given us. Thanks for reminding us of this today.


    Dear Lynne,
    Amen and amen! And thank you for the vivid metaphor from the part of Creation we are so familiar with. I will always think of this Ephesians passage now when I see aspen leaves fluttering in the breeze.
    God bless.


    Lynne,
    My goodness, you have many interesting jobs with animals, trees, weather, and such. We readers are blessed by every glimpse of God’s love that you write regarding them. Thank you because I no longer live in the remote woodlands, or near animals as you do. Such an encouraging analogy.


    Thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with us. Blessings.


    Thanks, Lynne. Good advice:
    So, let us not be discouraged by her many divisions. Rather, rooted and established in Christ, may we draw upon the power of His love more and more as we each continue to seek to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is His love, that in turn, we may have the wisdom and courage to grasp the hands of our brothers and sisters in Christ worldwide in His unity that truly makes us one.

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