Rooted & Ready
Autumn seems to be a favourite season for many women. The dip in temperature, rich colours, cozy sweaters, conversations by firelight all point to the beauty of a changing season. Autumn is a time for preserving and preparing. It’s true for nature and it’s true for us.
The beauty of autumn is preparation for the slumber of winter.
While it may look like the trees are falling asleep, dropping their leaves as they nod off for winter, there is work happening beneath the ground. The trees have one final chance to push their roots deeper before the cold of winter comes. The growth is hidden where our eyes cannot see it, yet it’s essential for the trees’ lives.
In winter, when plants can no longer rely on the spring and summer sun for their energy, they must rely on their roots below. Their roots draw water and oxygen from the rich soil—nourishment to keep them alive when all is dim and lifeless. Strong, healthy roots can sustain them through the deadest winter.
In our own lives, when hard seasons come, are we ready? Do we have the root system needed to nourish us when life seeks to take everything out of us?
Though the roots of trees look dormant in winter, they are still alert. At the slightest change in temperature or soil condition, they are ready to move forward. Even in winter, when conditions are less than favourable, the roots are resting, but ready.
In seasons of our life that feel dull, or difficult, or desperate, we must remember that we are in a season of rest and readiness. We can confidently rest in His truth and be alert to how He wants to lead us forward through the harsh winter.
“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” (Colossians 2:6-7 NLT)
When we are rooted in Christ, we are stronger than our circumstances. Not only can we survive the harsh winter, we overflow with thankfulness. Only the joy of the Lord can transform times of suffering into times of gladness.
Jesus guarantees that we will suffer, and we are wise to heed His warning so that we are prepared. If we know that winter will come eventually, we must make sure we are strongly rooted before the temperatures of life change.
This doesn’t mean we should look ahead with anxiety or pessimism or fear—we should look ahead with peace, knowing that our preparation and His provision will get us through the hard times. We have a good and great God who promises to walk with us. When we focus our attention on who He is and who He created us to be—we fix our eyes on the One who is bigger than our circumstances.
In our winters, we must learn to rest in who we are in Christ and be ready for when he calls us to move forward at His side. To do that, we must be strongly rooted in God’s Word and familiar with His voice.
“Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.” (Colossians 4:2 NLT)
When we feel like our circumstances have taken us captive, our default is to fall into despair. It’s difficult to see the way out. But when we’re confident that God is good, and He will deliver us, our waiting should be watchful.
We are to pray without ceasing so that we can face our circumstances with thankfulness (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17) and trust that God is at work. When we believe that God is with us, fighting for us, leading us, we should be at the ready.
When we hang our heads in doubt and defeat, we miss out on seeing the miracles happening around us. God wants us to trust Him with open eyes and open hearts—ready to walk through the winter with Him and believing that spring will come.
Autumn is rich and chromatic and winter is dull and dormant, yet both serve their purpose. They both lead us to the inner growth required for our outer transformation. As our roots grow deeper in hard seasons, we can bloom more vibrantly in spring.
We know that winter never lasts forever. We have a joyful hope that spring will arrive as promised. When we embrace the winter with a thankful heart, we enter spring as a fresh, new creation.