Sunday, August 29, 2021

Sunday Afternoon Tea - Our Need to Deepen our Roots

I have been young
but I am older now
And there has been beauty that these eyes have seen.
But it was in the night through the storms of my life
Oh, that's where God proved His love to me.
The anchor holds, Though the ship is battered
The anchor holds, Though the sails are torn.

It has been another week of horrible, terrible, very bad news.  From the disastrous pull out in Afghanistan to a Category 4 hurricane making landfall today, on the anniversary of Katrina... we continue to be surrounded by events that are determined to shake our faith.

But it is not only the big stuff, it seems everyone I talk to have had the little foxes of exhaustion or illness or financial concerns or kids with problems or all kinds of things nipping at their heels.   Planet Earth in the year 2021 has not been an easy place to find peace.

Unless... we know the Prince of Peace.  I keep thinking of something the old farmers used to talk about when I was a kid (who were probably younger than I am now!).  It seems if there is going to be a period of very wet weather, it is better if it is not in Spring for then the crops would not have need to grow their roots deep. For if there came weeks with no rain, they could survive if their roots had grown deep enough in the soil.

I think of that these days when I take the long way into town and view the tall stalks of corn in the fields.  They all look quite strong and healthy.  Just as Jesus gave so many parables based on agriculture, these crops teach me something each time I pass them.  Grow your roots deep to remain strong!

The days in which God decided we should live out our life on this fallen planet are of no surprise to Him.  I am convinced that everything we have gone through in our life prepares us for what He knows we will face and strengthens us a little at a time for our journey.

If... and that is a very big if... we do not give ourselves permission to become bitter, angry, self absorbed, unforgiving, and anything else that would hinder His grace in our healing process.  I think He understands the temporary pity party when we question just how much He thinks we can handle at any one given time.  He just doesn't want us to pull up a sofa, plant flowers, and live in that pity.

Everyone has a story.  There are a few who have told me their suffering is worse than others so they feel that suffering more.  However, as I remind them, every person feels their suffering even if it looks different than ours.  

The woman who seems to not have suffered as much as us could very well have felt such a crushing blow that she needs a lifeline back to God but she will not receive it from someone who thinks their suffering is worse than hers.

You see, He knows how much each one of us can take and the strong person can threaten the faith of the weaker just by their attitude to that person's suffering.  To tell them how much you have suffered and insinuate that their suffering is nothing compared to that is to cut the lifeline that person needs right now.

Not all of us have deep roots... yet.

We live in a time where it seems everything that can be shaken is being shaken and the person who can be a source of peace by leading others to the Prince of Peace is often the person who has suffered the most.  For they have been there and done that and come through it stronger, wiser, with deeper faith realizing that God was there all the time.

That is what our friends and family need to hear in this age.  As everything seems to fall apart, they need to know that the very faith that they mock is the only thing that will bring them peace.  For peace is a Person and true religion is a relationship with Christ.  Not a tradition of our church.  Not how the hymns our mother sang makes us feel all warm and cozy.  Not even our religious leaders.  Only Christ...

The lyrics above are from Ray Boltz's song The Anchor Holds and while I realize I am mixing metaphors... anchors and cornfields... they provide the same mental image for me.  One when I feel like I am drowning in trials and the other when I am walking through the drought of discouragement... but both mean the same.

There is One stronger than I can ever hope to be who strengthens me.  I feel that strength in the storms of life and we are living in a doozy of a storm right now on this planet... and I'm not talking about the hurricane.

Don't worry if you are prone to worry.  Don't be afraid even though you may feel fear.  Open your Bible.  Psalms is often a good place to park in the hurricane force winds of adversity.  Listen to music that will encourage you to trust Him.  Talk to Him as if He is your very best friend... for He is. 

What I have been feeling led to do the most this last year or more is to pray for the country in general but spend most of my time praying for those that God has placed in my circle, those people that sometimes have no one else praying for them.  I pray for my family and close friends as it should be.  I especially have begun praying for my grandchildren and what they may face in the years to come. 

However, I also pray for those who live around me.  Some whose names I know but others only God knows.  When I pray for the family that lives in the house with the red barn, He knows who I am talking about.

I am learning what to do that deepens my roots in Christ and what I do that weakens those roots.  When this culture was different, one could sometimes get along with weak roots.  Not these days... not when it seems the foundations are crumbling.

It is not inevitable that anyone will fail but He will do everything to keep each one of us strong in battle, even if we feel weak.  Let the enemy see Christ in us and not depend on our strength.  Jesus has already won the battle.

Song lyric from The Anchor Holds by Ray Boltz.


Sandi said...

"Don't worry if you are prone to worry."

❤️ I like how you said this.

Sherry said...

i'm without adequate words for what has transpired
in the sandy spot of the earth, though i'm in complete
agreement with you .. nodding my head and lifting prayer,
being thankful for what i cannot formulate is breathed
heavenward to the Throne of Grace.

this is a terribly tired, broken world.

a friend's son is a law enforcement deputy in New Orleans.
praying for his safety as well as the residents who've
chosen to remain. dear Lord.

Anonymous said...

Hi Brenda,
Thank you so much continuing to encourage and inspire. I enjoy coming to your blog, especially today. I have just been diagnosed with cancer and am feeling a little overwhelmed. Your words feel like a hug from God today. I will try not to fear but deepen my roots and depend on God.

Debby said...

Beautiful post.

CJ said...

Thank you for your wonderful posts, Brenda. I've been reading for a while but never commented yet I always find peace here. Love your application of scripture to the chaos of our world. I just want you to know that your words reach even here, to the tip of Africa. In Jesus,

Laura said...

Thank you for these words. Your "Sunday Afternoon Tea" posts are such a blessing to me! They are wise and practical. This one offered excellent reminders to me in several areas. I am pondering your words on deepening roots and weakening roots in Christ. I am in storms of my own and clinging to the Rock. Thank you for your example and encouragement.

Jenny said...

Thank you for such an encouraging post.
I've definitely taken some time sitting on my sofa, planting flowers & living a bit a of self-pity in the past year. I've always been a person who wants to face things head on & just get to the other side but I really, really need to learn to find peace in the midst of the chaos. I still have such a long way to's very elusive.

I'm still trying to learn how to live in this new world. Many of my friends have gone back to the way things were before in their day to day lives. In some ways, I don't want to do that....I don't want to be that busy & swamped with obligations. But I can't even seem to find a starting point to getting involved again. I just stay home, care for my family but am not participating at all in the traditional 'church' like I used to beyond an in-person service here & there. Which means my church friends are slowly moving on, moving away & letting our friendship go to be with others who are in the middle of all the obligations. So I'm trying to figure out where I fit into a church that is just as busy as it was before with activities when all I want to do is be part of a group that helps the lost.
Anyway...sorry for the ramble. I really enjoy reading your blog.

Deanna Rabe said...


Laura said...

Oh anonymous, I am sorry to read about this. I am praying for you today. May you feel His everlasting arms and the peace that passes all understanding.

Rain said...

"One when I feel like I am drowning in trials and the other when I am walking through the drought of discouragement."

Beautiful words. Thank you for continuing to encourage in these very troubling times.

God bless you.