It is a principle found in nature and in Scripture that the fruit of something is only as strong and healthy as its roots. If we have no root, or our roots are weak or damaged, then there can be no lasting fruit. We may want to flourish in life and in calling, but true flourishing and fruitfulness are ultimately determined by what is going on in the hidden, beneath-the-surface places of the heart. We must attend to our soul, and not just our role. For what does it profit us to gain the world but lose our soul? (Matt.16:26).
As we continue to review and re-establish roots and foundations in this current season, it is important that we don’t just think of this as simply ‘going over’ some teachings and beliefs, important as they are. It is a season where we each give thought to the roots and foundations of our own lives, and where we allow the Holy Spirit to do a deep work in us. It may be to strengthen us as we go deeper in prayer and intimacy with God: it’s in the secret place where our Father does his hidden work (Matt.6:6). It may include digging deeper into Scripture, recovering some of the hidden gems of truth that we once believed with such passion, or discovering new insights that revitalize our hearts with fresh life. It may mean letting the Spirit lovingly expose some of our damaged roots, healing us at the deepest places of our thoughts, attitudes and motivations. Whatever it means for each of us, let’s each go on this inner journey.
And even if we have fallen or have felt cut down by the challenges of life and relationships, there is hope. Jesus is the example for us of a tree cut down that grew again and bore fruit (Is.11:1-3). As we allow him to heal and restore us in the deep, hidden places, at the roots of our lives, we still have the promise and hope of fruitfulness. And the strength, health and fruitfulness of our church community will be as strong as each of us is at the roots and foundations of our lives.