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"Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith! (Luke 12:27-28 NASB)
"Consider the lilies," Jesus told his disciples. Today, we do exactly that.
My grandmother had lilies in her yard and I've always loved them. They are relatively trouble-free, low-maintenance flowers that grow from bulbs. The bulb requires more depth than most seeds so that roots can be formed to support the tall plant. Lilies forms basal roots at the base of the bulb, as well as adventitious roots above the bulb near the surface of the soil. Both are essential to anchor the plant. The longer the plant lives, the more adventitious roots will form.
The bulb doesn't look like much, does it? From this small bulb, a large and very beautiful, showy flower can grow. Without the roots, however, the flower will be of little value because the stem will be unable to get the nutrients needed to produce the flower. Without roots, the stem cannot stand upright. Once the stem begins to grow out of the bulb, the adventitious roots will form to help anchor the plant. Every root is essential.
In our lives, that same principle holds true. Without Christ, we can do nothing of significance. When our lives are grounded and rooted in Him and His word, however, we can grow to be all He intended us to become. Bible study and Scripture memory are not optional if we are to become strong and fruitful.
Lily roots have another interesting characteristic. They are contractile. The roots of the lily pull the bulb down to the appropriate depth for it to grow and bear flowers. We, too, need to have contractile roots that pull us to the appropriate depth of faith in Christ so that we can follow in the manner He intended.
Roots are the first sign of life for a lily, and the most important. It's the same for the new believer. We must be intentional about forming roots by studying and learning what God expects of us as followers. But are we? Today, let's pause to examine the roots of our relationship with Christ. Are they shallow and superficial so that we fall easily when trouble comes? Do we have deep roots that sustain our lives no matter what happens? Are we forming more roots as time goes by or relying on the roots that have already formed?
Let's be intentional about root formation by studying our Bible, memorizing Scripture, spending time in prayer and meditation on the Scripture we have studied. Only when we have the roots we need can we become the plant God intended.
Our Father, thank you for your perfect design of bulb and root and flower. Help me to do what is needed to grow roots to anchor me in my faith so I can become what you intended me to be. In Jesus' name, Amen.