“Cursed is the strong one
who depends on mere humans,
Who thinks he can make it on muscle alone
and sets God aside as dead weight.
He’s like a tumbleweed on the prairie,
out of touch with the good earth.
He lives rootless and aimless
in a land where nothing grows.
“But blessed is the man who trusts me, God,
the woman who sticks with God.
They’re like trees replanted in Eden,
putting down roots near the rivers—
Never a worry through the hottest of summers,
never dropping a leaf,
Serene and calm through droughts,
bearing fresh fruit every season.
Jeremiah 17: 5-8 (The Message)

How do you cope during a season of spiritual drought?

Last week I wrote about how I was frustrated about my relationship with God.

Sometimes it’s tempting to give up on God, to turn to the more tangible things for comfort and support: friends, money, your nice house. These are the solid things, the things you can reach out and touch and depend on. God is Spirit and ethereal and sometimes hard to understand.

But the Bible is backwards. Those things that look strong are nothing but tumbleweed; those paychecks, that approval from others, those advocates in high places that you have, they’re chaff. They’re blown away by the next wind, and it will happen so fast and so easily you won’t even know it when it does.

God turns our perception around. Those supposed solid and strong things are actually wispy and insignificant. True strength is not found in standing alone but clinging like a toddler onto God who isn’t always easy to see or feel, trusting through comfort and trusting through desperation.

Sometimes spiritual maturity is not about the fruit and the flowers. It’s about the roots: digging down, deep, into the dirt, into the silent and unseen, searching for water amidst the muck and worms.

This was my best five minutes on ‘Roots’. Also linking with

Beholding Glory

Over to you:

  • What are you most like at the moment- tumbleweed or a tree with roots by a river?

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34 Responses to Roots

  1. Joy Lenton 2nd November, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

    Thanks again, Tanya, for another beautiful insight. We all need the reminder to go deep with God at the root level. I can strongly identify with ‘clinging like a toddler onto God’ as I stumble my way through the pain and fog of M.E and other health problems. Our souls need refreshing by the watering of God’s word and the irrigation of the Holy Spirit while we continue ‘searching for water amidst the muck and worms’ of our life experiences. A lovely post. God is certainly enabling you to strengthen others with the wisdom you have learnt from your standpoint of weakness and dependence on Him. 🙂

    • Tanya 5th November, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

      Thank you so much for your encouragement, Joy – your words always uplift me!

  2. Amy Tilson 2nd November, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    Tanya, this was beautiful. Thank you for stopping by my place and leaving encouraging words so I might find you. Sometimes I feel like that tumbleweed, but this is such a good reminder to stay rooted.

    • Tanya 5th November, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

      Thank you Amy – it was fab to read your take on it!

  3. denise 2nd November, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

    Very inspiring.

  4. Mark Allman 2nd November, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

    I have always loved this quote:
    Truth is always strong, no matter how weak it looks; and falsehood is always weak, no matter how strong it looks.”
    — Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), American clergyman and author

    Things look strong sometimes but they are presenting a falsehood. True strength does come when we are anchored to the source of truth and strength. Sometimes that is because we have our roots buried deep and sometimes it is because we are just clinging to God.

    • Tanya 5th November, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

      Thank you so much. I really like the way you put it in the last line. It’s okay to be weak – we have a strong God.

  5. Diana Trautwein 2nd November, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

    Lovely thoughts/words/musings – and yes, roots are so important in times of drought. I also think that just doing whatever it is God has placed in front of us to do, one foot after the other, is what can lead us through a dry season and out the other side. I know there are terrible limits on what you can do, Tanya – but you can love your family, you can read and write when energy is there to do it, you can use the words of others when you can’t find your own – in prayer and for reflection. I think this is what Mother Theresa did – she just chose to be faithful, even when she felt terribly estranged and lonely. I also think writing/talking abou it is very wise. Do you have a spiritual director? Someone who might be willing to come to you and listen with you to the movement of God in your life. I meet monthly with one young woman who has a milder version of what you struggle with and I always learn from HER when she’s here. You have words for us, Tanya. You have your own unique journey to share and I am so grateful that you choose to do it.

    • Tanya 5th November, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

      Thank you so much, Diana. I have been thinking about this comment many times over the past few days. I am really grateful for the wisdom and freedom in having permission to just place one foot in front of the other – and I also really appreciate you understanding the limits of the illness, but also challenging me to focus on what I do have in front of me. I am pondering the spiritual director thing too. I don’t have one (or know very many!) but I think it could be helpful. Thank you for your wise advise here – I really value it.

  6. Traci Michele 2nd November, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    I really loved the honesty in which you write this. You are so right! Thank you. I love that passage in Jeremiah! Thanks for sharing.

    visiting from five minute friday.

    • Tanya 5th November, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

      Thank you – I really love that passage too!

  7. Teri Lynne Underwood 2nd November, 2012 at 2:42 pm #

    “Sometimes spiritual maturity is not about the fruit and the flowers, it’s about the roots.” Yeah, that! So true. Great post. {visiting from Lisa-Jo’s linky!}

    • Tanya 2nd November, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

      Thank you, Teri (and thanks for the Twitter shout-out too!)

  8. Mia 2nd November, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

    Dear Tanya
    Oh, how I need to hear this again. Fm/ME worst symptom to me sometimes can be the loneliness. During those times we need to experience this in such a greater degree than other times, the love of our Pappa holding us secure in His Loving Embrace! Thanks for reminding me of our true Security, our Lord Jesus.
    Blessings to you across the oceans

    • Tanya 2nd November, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

      Thank you for your friendship and solidarity across oceans – it means a lot.

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