Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Rooted and Grounded in Love

". . . . that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory,
to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you,
being rooted and grounded in love,
may be able to comprehend with all the saints
what is the breadth and length and height and depth of that love,
and to know the love of Christ which surpasses mere knowledge
that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God."  Eph. 3: 16-19

One of my favorite spots on this earth is the beautiful, Southern-style porch on the front of our 100+ year old home.  I have spent many quiet, blissful hours there . . . . listening to God, enjoying the beauty of His creation, and reflecting upon what He is speaking to my heart. 

Lately my attention has been drawn to the ancient oak trees on the property.  I try to imagine the size of the root system beneath the ground needed to support the enormous load that each tree creates by it's height and breadth.  I've been told that the size of the root system of a live oak tree mirrors the size of the tree that you can see above the ground.  That is almost unfathomable to perceive!!

Those trees are so tall that you must bend backwards to see the treetops overhead.  Their branches stretch out to unbelievable lengths, providing shade to the lawn and a haven for various creatures, and even a swing for my grandchildren. I love the trunks and branches and limbs and leaves. . . .they are beautiful through every season of the year.  But I truly appreciate those roots . . . . the tremendous bases which support the weight of those trees. . . . and all the more when an inescapable storm front rages through.  One toppled tree would irreparably damage our house.  But those massive, hidden root systems have provided the stability that the trees need in order to have withstood over 100 years of even the most violent of storms.

In the prayer above, Paul expresses his desire for the church at Ephesus to be rooted and grounded in love.  It is absolutely vital that our roots go down deep and wide into Poppa's love (for He IS love, you know) and draw all of our life from His Life.  Only then can we be grounded . . . . to lay the foundation, to found; to make stable, to establish . . . . enough to really be able to explore and enjoy the breadth, the length, the height, and the depth of that same love.  Incomprehensible . . . .yet, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul prays that we be able to comprehend it.  Yes . . . . may it be!!!

All the fullness of God?!?!?!!  Wow!!!!
Father, plunge us once again today into the depths of Your Love.  Increase both the size and the capacity of our root systems so that we may be able to draw deeply from that love through every season of life.  You alone ARE our life and in You alone do we live and move and have our being.  And as we become established in Your Love, may we come to fully know and experience all the dimensions of what that Love means to us and in us and through us.  As our roots go down into Your Heart, may our branches extend to others, providing for them all that Your love makes possible.  And when the inevitable storms come, we thank you that Your Love cannot fail.  Thank you, dear Poppa!

So they will be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified. Is 61:3

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities,
nor things present, nor things to come,
nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature,
shall be able to separate us from the love of God,
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.   Rom 8:38-39