So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:6-7)
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 Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:16-19)
I love growing annuals (plants that live for only one season in our climate), especially those with lots of flowers or very large flowers that I have grown from seed. There is something quite wonderful about planting a seed, seeing the plant grow and reach maturity all within a few months. The annuals that I planted back in the spring are now in full bloom and some of them have made incredible growth. I have sunflowers that reach eleven feet high and others that are multi-stemmed and are six feet tall and six feet wide. I have cosmos plants that have so many flowers on them that I need to remove the dead flowers every day in order to keep them looking their best; they make a great splash of colour in the garden.
Last Tuesday, as I am sure you will remember, storm Francis blew across the British Isles bringing with it some rather windy weather conditions. I watched from inside my house as these incredible plants that I had grown swayed in the wind. The multi-stemmed sunflower blew over, it didn’t matter that I had put a stake to support it, the sheer size of the plant was just too much for the stake. The root of the plant was only about the size of a bag of sugar trying to anchor this large plant. As for the eleven foot tall sunflowers, I simply watched and hoped that they would be okay. As it was they managed to stay in the ground but they have quite a lean to them now.
The sunflowers are not the tallest plants that I can see from my house windows, there are some wonderful mature trees in my neighbour’s garden which are at least twice the height of our house, but they survived the storm. You could hear the sound of the wind as it blew through their leaves, you could see them sway, but they have strong, far-reaching roots, established over many years to support them. They were able to stand firm, while my annuals fell over.
If we are to stand firm in the storms of life we need to have roots like the mature trees in my neighbour’s garden, rather than the small insubstantial roots of the annuals in mine. We need to develop our roots over many years so that they are well established. As it says in Colossians we need to be rooted and built up in Christ so that our faith will be strong enough for whatever happens.
Prayer (Ephesians 3:20-21)
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!
Song: Cornerstone (Hillsong) – recorded 3 months ago