In what is your heart “rooted and grounded”? That’s a question worth thinking about today, especially if you’ve never thought of your heart in such terms.
The roots of a living thing provide stability and nourishment. Picture the roots of a tall, weathered tree in your mind. Extending much deeper into the ground than the tree is tall, those roots are drawing water and nutrients from the soil, providing life to the trunk, limbs, branches, and leaves. The healthier those roots are, the deeper they grow, the more stability is provided to the tree above ground. The winds may blow and the branches may bend, but the tree is stable, steadfast, firmly “rooted and grounded.”
Have you ever thought about your heart having roots? Not the muscle in your chest, but who you really are on the inside–your “inner being.” Take a thoughtful listen to Paul’s prayer for the first-century disciples in Ephesus.
…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)
The apostle’s earnest desire is that Christians enjoy such a deep, rich, life-giving connection to Jesus that they are “rooted and grounded in love,” the love of Christ “that surpasses knowledge.”
So in what is your heart rooted and grounded?
Hearts rooted in bitterness yield an ugly harvest of wrath, anger, clamor, and slander.
Hearts rooted in racism don’t love the image-bearer of God with a different color of skin as they love themselves.
Hearts rooted in lust desire impurity and sensuality more than they desire God.
Hearts rooted in greed lay up treasures for self on earth at the expense of laying up treasures in heaven.
Hearts rooted in envy are haunted by a spirit of discontentment that takes bountiful blessings for granted.
Hearts rooted in jealousy have a mighty struggle rejoicing with those who are rejoicing.
Hearts rooted in strife won’t weep with those who are weeping.
Hearts rooted in enmity struggle to forgive, remaining willfully shortsighted to the abundance of grace they’ve personally enjoyed.
Darkened hearts rooted in dead soil produce rotten fruit.
But that’s not the will of your Father in heaven for you. He is the wise vinedresser who knows how to plant, graft, tend, and prune for our good and his glory. He is willing and able to uproot our hearts from the destructive darkness of sin and replant us in Christ that we might be filled with all the fullness of God, bearing the beautiful fruit of his Spirit. Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self-control.
Upon what does it all depend? In what is your heart rooted and grounded? From what soil are you drawing meaning, purpose, stability, and hope? From what source are you fueling your spirit? Is it refreshing and life-giving or poisonous and soul-parching?
Maybe today is a really good day to dig beneath the surface and honestly check the roots of your heart.