As I seek God’s personal invitation to me for 2022, concerning direction for my spiritual and writing life, the phrase “rooted and grounded” keeps coming to the forefront of my mind, accompanied by the picture of those stalwart fir trees standing firm through a storm.
The apostle Paul’s prayer for the believers in Ephesus passionately expresses his desire for them to be rooted and grounded in love. "...so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith˗˗that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. ” (Eph.3:17-19 ESV)
The word know jumps off the page when I read this verse.
To be rooted and grounded solidly in God’s love and all that it encompasses, I need to know Him intimately. I need to search Him out, the way tree roots search for nutrients in the soil. The deeper I grow into the soil of His love, the stronger I can stand when storms hit. The more firmly I am rooted and grounded in God’s character and who I am in Him, the more I will flourish and bear fruit.
So how do I do it? How do I send roots down where my spirit can be nurtured and strengthened? How does doing so influence my writing? The growth of a tree is a result of what goes on beneath the soil. In my spiritual growth Jesus Christ Himself is the soil, rich with nourishment and strength found in His Word. The more I absorb His truths and teachings, the more I will grow.
Lately one of the ways I am reading my bible is as a storybook, from beginning to end, as much or as little as I want, getting a sense of the overarching story line, characters, settings and plot. This new and refreshing view opens up insights I’ve missed before. I still practice more traditional study as well, however I find my mind returning often to the exciting drama of God’s story as a narrative. Discovering new ways of taking in the nourishment of God’s Word keeps my spiritual growth fresh, revealing different facets of God’s love and character. Reading scripture this way is also sparking inspiration for writing.
Did you know that the visible roots which grow from the base of a tree trunk are called heart roots? They are primary roots which grow multiple secondary roots in search of water and nutrients. Heart roots in my life with God could be defined as spiritual disciplines. A consistent devotional and prayer time, in-depth study of the scriptures in a group or individually, belonging to a church family that is bible-based, worship-focused and servant-hearted˗˗these disciplines provide food for spiritual growth.
Most healthy trees produce some type of fruit, berries, nuts, or seeds. I see my writing as a fruit originating from my spiritual life. When my spirit is dry and I’m not actively sending down roots seeking out spiritual nourishment, my writing life suffers a drought as well. They are intrinsically linked. My intimacy with God determines the impact of my writing life.
This year God is inviting me to become more deeply rooted and grounded in His love, to know this love that surpasses knowledge. If I can grow like a strong, healthy tree, I will bear fruit to help nurture those whose roots are shallow and whose spirits need nourishment.
“Love is the soil in which our life must have its roots; and it is the rock upon which our faith must ever rest.” ~ W. Graham Scroggie
More of Valerie's work can be read on her blog:https://scriptordeus.wordpress.com/