Rooted and Grounded

Us native-born "Texians" have a love-hate relationship with this scrubby, scrappy, throny tree called - The Mesquite. We love it in barbeque pits for the smoky flavor it gives our ribs and briskets. We love it for the knarly rustic furniture, bowls and even dominoes that craftsmen create with it.

We love that it is the last tree to sprout leaves in the spring, and a sure sign that winter is over.

Folks who are firmly rooted in this great state, but have to  move out of state have been known to carry seeds to their new homes in an effort to have a little Texas in their new landscape. It is not our officail state tree, but it covers over one third of the state - mostly in West and South Texas.

Ranchers battle the long roots that tap as far as needed ( some resources say as far as 25 feet) to find water and keep the tree drought resistant. Water needed for grass that feeds cattle. Longtime farmer friend Max, says that we may win the battle, but we will never win the war.  We burn it, spray it, cut it down, and pull it up. And it grows back with a vengence. It's thorny armor grows longer and stronger. Its roots grow deeper.

Now that we are back in Texas, my Inspector Handyman Hubby is wearing his Farmboy hat and has waged war with the mighty mesquite. The mesquites that have had a mostly peaceful life without us for the past eight or ten years while we followed the job.

He says he can tell the trees that have been shredded, or plowed over, or chopped down, by the size of their roots. The more they have been cut down, the longer and stronger and deeper the roots. And I said, "Oh, Papa. That'll PREACH!"  He kind of rolls his eyes when I say that!

But think about it. Sometimes, we feel like life has burned us out, chopped us down, and dug us up. We feel discarded and useless. BUT - if our roots are firmly established in His Word, in His Truth, in HIM - we will be like the trees spoken of in Psalm 1:1-3 and Jeremiah 17:7-8. We will be like trees whose leaves do not wither, who do not fear the heat, have no worries in years of drought, trees that bear fruit and prosper. PROSPER.

2 Corinthians 4:9, written by Paul (who as a former persecutor of Christians, was himself persecuted and imprisioned) says that we are "hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." Let's be those kind of believers. Let's put our roots down deep so that nothing can destroy us. Let's bear fruit and prosper.

With so much worldwide attention on persecuted Christians, we can only pray that those sitting in prison for preaching Jesus, have roots that keep growing deeper and stronger. Some experts believe that persecution actually makes the church (as in the body of Christ) grow stronger.

"You're blessed when your committment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God's kingdom." (Matthew 5:10 The Message)

"Let your roots grow down into HIM, and let your lives be built on HIM. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:7 The Message)

"No one is established by wickedness,
 but the root of the righteous will never be moved."
(Proverbs 12:3)

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