I love willow trees. There’s something about them that seem so inviting and cozy. I’m sure it’s the hanging branches that look perfect to lay underneath and take a nap…or have a picnic. Regardless of their function, they’re beautiful and charming. And I love them.
Years ago, when we moved into our house, I desperately wanted to plant a willow tree in our backyard. It was then that I learned that they are not the ideal trees in a residential area. Their roots are very aggressive as they seek out moisture, causing problems for homeowners. To my dismay, I left the idea behind and to this day, I remain tree-less. Although, upon my new discovery, I couldn’t help but see the spiritual concept behind it and the potential in these deeply rooted plants.
“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green and they never stop producing fruit.”
-Jeremiah 17:7-8 NLT
I love how God uses life and creation to demonstrate eternal principles. Something as simple as how a tree is rooted can speak volumes to us as believers. Where are we planted? Do our roots run deep? Many times in my life, when facing difficult situations, I’ve learned the hard way that I was not connected to the source. My water supply was far away because I sought to fight the battle on my own. Or I ran in fear because I didn’t see the potential in my pain. I withered and spiritually suffered because I was unable to produce the kind of faith needed to sustain me in the heat.
God never promised us a life of ease and comfort. We are human and sometimes face circumstances that are out of our control. But all throughout scripture, we are promised one thing….He’ll never leave us. It may get dark, but His Spirit will equip us. His word will be a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path (Psalm 119:105). His peace can bypass our natural understanding and draw us closer to Him. Because that is what we need…. more of Jesus.
I want my roots to be that of a willow tree. That I would continually search for Jesus in every season. That as the wind blows and the storms come, I would be connected to the source of life and stability. That the Word of God would be my foundation and His praise, be the wind in my branches. That on the hottest day or the coldest night, I would point others to the Son that supplies my every need. Lord, let any fruit I bear, reflect of Your goodness and Your grace. And cause others to run to the river. That we would uproot ourselves from the desert of unbelief and set up camp near the One, who holds it all.