“Storms make oaks take deeper root.” ~ George Herbert
Healthy trees have healthy roots. Water and nutrients are drawn in by the root system in order to properly feed and nurture a tree. There must always be an ample supply of all the right things.The essentials for growing a healthy tree include being in a good location for sunlight and water and having the proper kind of soil that will support the roots. The book of Psalms actually opens with a healthy tree illustration that applies to us as Christian leaders.
Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do. (Psalms 1:1-3 NLT)
The word picture in this passage is powerful. Can you imagine a row of apple trees growing along the bank of a river, bent over and full of bright red apples surrounded by lush green leaves? This is a wonderful illustration of what healthy trees with healthy roots might look like. The lesson taught in this psalm is all about having the proper environment and nutrition.
The worldly culture around us will often try to draw us into shortcuts and short-term thinking that only produces shallow dry roots. The Psalmist writes that resisting the temptation to follow worldly standards will bring many joys and much fruit. Never take shortcuts. There’s a better way.
Trust in the instruction of God’s Word and associate with those who will help keep you strong in your faith journey. It’s easy to get caught up in the crowd around us, so be very selective about those you have in your inner circle of friends and advisors.
The image of a river flowing past the roots of flourishing trees fits well with the phrase: But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. Healthy, growing, Christian leaders must have a constant stream of prayerful thinking about what God would have them do in each situation. They have positioned themselves in the midst of other healthy leaders who are seeking the same things too. Together they bear much fruit.
Take time today to reflect on how healthy your environment and root systems are. Make sure you’re being properly nurtured and surrounded by godly advisors who will keep you strong and help you stand against the storms of life. The right surroundings and proper spiritual nourishment are essential to maintaining your health as a leader.
Be intentional today about tending to your roots. Good roots are essential for growing great leaders. Position yourself in the right conditions for growing good roots. Surround yourself with other growing leader who are doing the same, and together you will produce a harvest for His Kingdom.