By Sandy Kirby Quandt
I’ve just finished reading Casting Crowns’ lead singer, Mark Hall’s book, Thrive. Great book!
In his book, Mark talks about an enormous oak tree in Alabama. He explains that the invisible roots that support everything going on above ground are as massive as the visible limbs that we are able to see.
He compares the tree to us.
We need deep roots to support our limbs. We need to dig deep into the Bible to learn how we should live, but we need to move from merely studying. We need to reach out our limbs to help others, and apply the knowledge we gain by allowing God to use us.
Mark says we were made to thrive, not just survive. He writes that the only way to thrive is to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
To do that, we have to study who the Bible says God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are, and who we are in relation to them.
It is our personal relationship with Jesus that defines us. Not our parents’ relationship. Not our siblings’ relationship. Nor our neighbors’ relationship. But OUR relationship.
In writing this book, Mark’s goal is for us to realize a relationship with Christ doesn’t happen just because we sit in a church. Or because our family did. We have to make the commitment to continue to grow in our own personal relationship. That’s the roots.
Strong roots support the tree during life’s storms.
When I was a pre-schooler living in Norfolk, Virginia, a hurricane uprooted a huge Weeping Willow tree in our back yard and sent it crashing through the back porch, and through part of my bedroom. That tree looked healthy on the outside, but underneath, it’s roots were shallow.
We can look like we’re living the life God wants us to live with all the busy-ness of “good works” we’re involved in, but if we haven’t dug our roots deep into the Bible, we’re apt to topple over when the storms hit. Just like that Weeping Willow in my backyard.
On the other hand, we can spend all our time studying, studying, studying, digging those deep roots, and never reach out and apply what we’re learning to help others.
That’s what a friend of mine calls a stinky sponge. You know, the sponge that has soaked up the water and is left to sit on the counter without being used.
If the water is never squeezed out, that sponge is going to stink.
Let’s not be a stinky sponge. Let’s dig our roots deep into the Word of God, and then squeeze it out through our limbs of outreach to others.
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Oh, the joys of those who do not follow evil men’s advice, who do not hang around with sinners, scoffing at the things of God. But they delight in doing everything God wants them to, and day and night are always meditating on his laws and thinking about ways to follow him more closely. They are like trees along a riverbank bearing luscious fruit each season without fail. Their leaves shall never wither, and all they do shall prosper. Psalm 1:1-3 (NLT)
I wish you well.
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