The leaves are turning. An array of orange, bronze and red assaults me from the other side of my window. Gusts of wind send them dancing across yard. Breathtaking!
Leaves are temporal things. Born in the spring, flourishing in the summer and vibrant in the fall just hours before their death. A nuisance in winter, lying upon our manicured lawns, blown into piles against our houses. But what is the purpose of the leaf? Is it to grow and flourish and then die? Or is there a deeper meaning to its short life? In reality the purpose of the leaf is not for the leaf at all, its purpose is for the tree, actually for the roots of the tree.
The root system is what grounds the tree, what nourishes it, what sustains it. Without the roots, there would be no tree. It is the very essence of all we see. But the leaves, they live and die for the glory of the roots and they do so with majestic beauty. They supply the water and food to nourish the roots. They offer shade so the roots won’t scorch under the hot summer sun. In the fall, they prepare the roots for the cold winter ahead, and as they rest upon the ground they blanket the roots from the winter snows. Yes, the roots provide the life, but the leaves provide the abundance!
A root system with out leaves is like purpose without beauty. And a leaf without roots is simply beauty without purpose.
So the question is which do you choose? Joy and beauty? Or purpose and life? Perhaps the question shouldn’t be a choice but a challenge. A challenge to obtain both. For without both leaves and roots the tree will die. And I have a feeling same is true with you and I. Jesus said “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Abundant life can’t be achieved with out both roots and leaves. Without beauty and purpose. The roots serve the leaves and the leaves serve the roots. Just as living in your purpose brings beauty and living in His beauty brings purpose. Can the two exist alone? Sure. But why would we want them to? Why have one without the other when Jesus freely offers both!
Our roots establish us. They are what give us the strength to survive the long cold winters of our lives. If our roots don’t go deep we won’t be able to stand when trials come our way. We must guard and protect our roots, above all else. If our roots are deep, and well watered, they will thrive every day for all of our days. Good, bad. Stormy or calm. Our roots hold true.
Leaves, on the other hand, are seasonal. They grow, they die. They change with the weather. Leaves are affected by circumstances. Just as we are. On bright sunny days they clap with joy! When the cold winter sets in they shrivel up and fall to the ground. But the thing about leaves, about beauty, is that it always returns. It always offers hope. Spring always returns.
“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:3)
So dig deep in the Word of God. Pursue Him! Immerse yourself in Him! Let your roots go deep! For this is the sustaining essence of life in Christ. And let your beauty shine for all the world to see. Grow and drink and wave and shine!
Be rooted. Be beautiful.