“Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.” (Ephesians 3:17 NLT)
Tom had a fragile childhood. His father was known as a rowdy type, a sailor with a woman in every port. Naturally, things between his mother and father fell apart, since his father wouldn’t stop his carousing. Then, the day came when his mom met a man from Florida. Before he knew it, they were married and moving to Florida — without him.
Tom was left to live with his grandmother, who lived with her daughter and son-in-law and their two children. His aunt and uncle became his parents, and his two cousins became his brother and sister.
Tom’s life wasn’t much different than his father’s. None of his marriages lasted very long. Since he couldn’t father children of his own, when the marriages dissolved, so did most of the roots that went with them. When his last wife died from cancer, Tom sold almost everything he had, loaded his horses and belongings into a trailer, and hit the road. He had no roots.
Sometimes, I feel a little like Tom. As a preacher’s kid and then a preacher myself, moving from place to place came with the territory. Church often interfered with family reunions, so I depended on my grandmother to keep me updated. Mom and Dad’s sisters are the only family matriarchs that my family has left.
Although my earthly roots are somewhat fragmented — and now shallow — my spiritual roots run deep. Distance, divorce, and death can shatter and fragment genealogical roots, but the root that extends down into God’s love is a deep one. In fact, it is a tap root with no end.
Others may leave us in life for numerous reasons. We ourselves will one day have to leave this earth behind. But if we are rooted in God’s love, we have a large family that is planted across the world. Our physical families may dwindle and fragment, but our spiritual families can be found anywhere that we go, because everywhere that we go, we can find people who are rooted in God’s love.
When it appears that family roots are slowly dissipating, let’s remember how large our spiritual family is. Let’s pray for them and rejoice in spending time with them.
Prayer: Father, we thank You for giving us spiritual family around this globe. Amen.
Copyright © 2022, by Martin Wiles <email@example.com>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional presbycan.ca .
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA
Reprinted from PresbyCan with author’s permission