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 17:8 (NLT) 

Your future depends on your answer to this question: Does your life reach deep into the soil of something bigger than yourself? 

Not long ago, I stood at a crossroads in my athletic career at the University of Arkansas. Due to intense frustration and failure, everything in me wanted to throw down my equipment and quit sports altogether. The decision came after I had already invested two and a half years on the scout team, with no rewards of playing time whatsoever. My hamstrings had been injured twice, both at a critical time of evaluations for walk-ons like me. Then, the worst possible scenario played out. I was asked to leave the team by my position coach. Believe it or not, I was eighth on the depth chart for my position. You read that right: eighth. Everything in me said to quit. That’s when my dad said something to me that changed the trajectory of my entire life: “Son, the reason most people never make it as a walk on college athlete is because they don’t stick it out long enough to see what might happen.” He was teaching me the power of roots and the power to stand through the storm. During the same time frame, God brought a powerful mentor into my life named Ron Harris. He offered me similar advice the form of a question: “Josh, if you never see one down of real time as a college athlete, will you stay with the team for the purposes and the glory of God?”  He had gotten to the crux of the matter. My life was still about me. Ron and my dad both were asking me the question I’m asking you: Does your life reach deep into the soil of something bigger than yourself?  Can you stay with it when times get tough and allow a better author to write a better story?  Seeking something bigger than your own comfort, pleasure, relief or good takes roots and it takes guts. However, Jesus taught when we have roots that reach deep, we will have lives that stand strong and multiply much fruit. 

Here are a few thoughts to remember as you keep moving throughout your day: 

  1. Roots take time. You can’t build roots, you must grow them. Be patient with yourself and with God. 
  2. Not all soil is the same quality. Roots in the wrong soil still refuse to produce good fruit. 
  3. When you feel like giving up, remember that your roots are shooting deeper. Let em grow! Roots always come before fruits.

References:
Except from the book “Rooted: Reach Deep. Burn Bright. Stand Strong” by Josh Foliart.

Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

Author

Josh and his wife, Casandra, are the founders of MULTIPLi Global. Along with their two children, Lucas and Sofia, they moved to Peru in January 2013 to plant a first fruits of churches in Lima called La Ciudad. Josh is the former Associate Pastor of Christian Life Cathedral in Fayetteville, AR and author of Rooted, a book about reaching deep, burning bright, and standing strong.

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