I was driving through the neighborhood the other day and I saw a large tree that had been knocked over during a recent storm. The homeowner had already begun the task of cutting it into smaller pieces so that it could be removed from their yard. More than likely the roots weren’t very deep and when the rain soaked soil and high winds combined forces, the tree was no longer able to stand tall. It withstood several storms this spring but eventually it gave way during this most recent storm. The roots pulled loose and the tree fell over on its side, no longer standing tall, no longer the picture of beauty or provider of shade that it once was. That tree and the impact of all these spring storms we have been receiving reminded me of a verse from the Bible. In Colossians 2:6-7 Paul wrote to his friends in Colossae:
Col 2:6 Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.
Paul knew his friends would face difficult times, destructive forces and even deceptive teaching during their Christian walk. He wanted them to be deeply rooted in the teachings of Christ; he wanted them to be able to stand tall in their faith. The Church faces similar challenges today. There are storms that come on a regular basis. There are winds of deception and destructive forces that would seek to keep us individually and collectively from being built up in our faith, forces that would seek to topple us over like a tree knocked down by a powerful storm. If we want to stand tall in our faith, if we want the gospel to be seen and known as the thing of beauty that we know it to be, then we too must be firmly rooted in the instruction and encouragement of Christ. That is the only way we can be sure to stand tall in our faith at all times. That is the only way to withstand the storms and difficulties of life that will come our way.