Without doubt the past six months has caused uncertainty for us all. Uncertainty about the choices we've made in the past, uncertainty about what is happening in the present, and uncertainty about what the future will be like.
These uncertainties range from jobs and finances to studying online or in person, travel plans and meeting with people locally and internationally. And many more.
Is there a way to be secure in these times?
Can our hearts be steadfast whilst physically and mentally shaken?
Can we continue to grow and thrive while the soil around us is continually being dug at revealing our roots?
The Bible suggests we can.
Where are your roots?
A plant’s roots not only function to absorb water and nutrients for growth but also to anchor a plant. Imagine if a seed grew into a lengthy, well-nourished plant but wasn't anchored. Would the plant be tall? Or would it topple?
Similarly, we may be healthy in every physical way and be achieving A+ grades. Others may see you excelling and in the top percentile. But what if we weren't anchored? What if our roots weren't strong enough to hold up the greenery?
Or perhaps the water and nutrients our roots have been absorbing are not what the plant needs? You're reaching out for increasingly more praise from others to boost your self-esteem. Or secretly you're holding onto the pride of your wealth and possessions.
Our roots have a significant influence on who we are - our values, beliefs, and moral compass. Therefore, Paul in Colossians chapter 2, verses 6-7 encourages us to live in Christ Jesus, to be rooted and built up in him, and strengthened in the faith.
In John chapter 15, Jesus repeatedly calls us to remain in him and he promises to remain in us too. He wants us to understand that when we are in him, we are strongest and will become most successful and productive.
Why can we trust to be in Jesus?
He doesn’t lie. This means his promises are unchanging.
Even with this year’s upheaval, his promises remain good and unchanging. He continues to be worthy of our faith and reliable of our entrustment.
Being rooted in times of uncertainty
As much as we might hate change that do not favour us, it is inevitable. King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes chapter 3 verse 1 that "there is a time for everything".
There will be life and there will be death.
There will be brokenness and there will be healing.
There will be success and there will be failures.
There will be grieving and there will be celebrating.
There will be safekeeping and there will be releasing.
And so, these unprecedented times for us and these times of uncertainty will take place.
Some of us are feeling it more than others,
Some of us are systemically affected by these times,
Some of us don't like the reality of lockdown,
Some of us struggle with being apart from loved ones,
Some of us are simply overwhelmed and withering.
The beauty and security of being rooted and planted in Jesus is this:
We do not know when, but we know these times will end.
We may not think we can last till then, but we know he can.
And lastly, we will not know how, but we know he does.
By streams of water
What a refreshing scene of clear blue water gently flowing down the stream, softly swishing against the rocks. Adjacent to the stream is an abundance of vegetation, sparkling under the sunlight and moonlight.
This calm environment is exactly where we want to be; a beautiful exchange in scenery from the walls in the house. We wish for our hearts and mind to be this calm too, unlike the stormy news fed to us day by day.
How wonderful and rejuvenating for our roots to be in this stream!
This exact imagery is described in Jeremiah chapter 17, verses 7-8.
"But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."
And in Isaiah chapter 58, verse 11.
"The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."
When we trust in Jesus, we will be like that tree by the streams of water. Our roots will naturally absorb from the abundance. We will not dry out and we will not wither. Moreover, we will be strengthened and sustained, we will never fail to accomplish what we have been called to.
Our origin is to be in Jesus. We are to have our roots uptake him as our source of water and nutrients. Jesus is our foundation, the one we anchor ourselves to.
The fear and worries of uncertainty will not uproot us nor entangle us, even though the world around us fight to break free. Our hearts and minds will be like in eutopia, not a dream away, but a reality in God’s kingdom both now and forevermore.
Rebecca Hoverd studies law and geography at The University of Auckland and loves writing as a way to communicate with God and to unpack her thoughts. She loves coffee, conversations, and would love to hear your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.