This Christmas we traveled back to Miami (I’ve learned that in these parts I need to be specific so this is Miami Florida) to visit family. While we were there, the girls were impressed by how well people were dressed and put together, how in shape they were and the amount of new cars and high-end cars people drove. We did see a couple of Bentleys, Rolls Royce and Maserati – those can impress everyone. As we drove around we also saw the most beautiful old banyan trees – they are native to the area and used as dividers on main roads and to create canopies over others. Some of the trees had these massive trunks with some over six feet wide lush leaves and branches that seemed to dance in the breeze. Again, very impressive - the trees show all of the signs of strength and health that all of those people with their fancy cars, clothes and styles did.
Many of those Banyan trees have been there for years; even generations, but one thing is true for them as it is for the “beautiful” people of Miami. One hurricane, one storm with just enough force will topple them. As the tree grows, it sends back to the ground from its branches roots that make it look like another tree - a Banyan can become a forest on its own. Unfortunately, what you see though the Banyans are massive beautiful trees but the roots will never be deep into the ground. We did see many of the beautiful trees toppled due to the last hurricane... their roots pulled from the soil and the branches, leaves and trunks cut away. Some may be replanted yet others will be completely removed at some point.
As my girls and I spoke, the Lord laid this truth on my heart about the Banyan tree and of many people – especially many of the Miami people we love. For every appearance they look healthy and successful. They grow their sphere of influence – marriage, children, friends, associates – but in the end, they do not deepen their roots. For many it is financial where they live on credit and looking to the Jones’ for their next big “need”. For many more it is Spiritual, they live a shallow faith or a false faith that holds for a time – years even- but with the right storm, they topple.
This realization made take stock of my own life... Am I a Bayan tree? I have increased my sphere of influence; I look like a strong Christian in my faith – but how are my roots? I believe that my roots can go deeper – deeper into God’s Word, deeper into His Worship and deeper into prayer and quiet time with Him. Therefore, I make that resolution daily to deepen my roots; some days I find myself making progress going deeper some days life gets in the way... However, I persevere I start each day determined to grow my roots.
The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules.
He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots.
It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
Pastor Pedro and Marolyn Rodriguez