Some days I wonder what takes God so long to work. Does anyone else catch themselves thinking that? It’s like you’ve done everything you need to do and you just have to sit tight and wait for God to keep up his end of the bargain. And He doesn’t. Or if He does, He doesn’t do it in a way you expect. But either way, it always takes much longer than you think it will. Either that or it happens much sooner than you expect and you end up scrambling.
But for me, it always seems to take forever. Forever and a day. At least it does for the really important things I want. There’s rarely an immediate answer. And the longer I wait, the more impatient I get. But recently I had something of a revelation. What if it’s me God is waiting on?
Today’s verse is Ephesians 3:17.
Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.
There are many times in the Christian life where we have to wait. Waiting is part of faith. And I hate waiting, but it’s good for me because I’m such a control freak that I will rush into any situation and try to control the outcome whether I truly understand what’s going on or not.
But sometimes waiting isn’t the answer. Sometimes taking the initiative is right, and God is waiting for us to step up and accomplish certain things in our own life and in our own Christian walk before He lets us take the next step. Because if I haven’t done everything I’m supposed to, if I haven’t taken all the steps I need to, I’m not ready for what God has for me.
The Bible talks about trees a lot in Scripture. Christians are compared to trees that grow by rivers, with deep roots that reach into the waters and are always nourished even in droughts. Even today’s verse says that we need to be deeply rooted in God’s love so that we will be strong.
What’s the big deal with roots?
Well, a tree is only as strong and as healthy as its root system. Trees with weak, shallow roots are easy to tip over. Trees with unhealthy roots are easy to break. But a tree with strong, healthy roots isn’t moving. It might lose some branches in a storm, but its trunk will remain strong even in the worst winds.
And it’s the same with Christians.
Our effectiveness as Christians is directly proportional to how deep we allow Christ into our lives. Have you ever thought about that? Many times we allow Christ into our hearts and into our lives but we put up barricades and tell Him that certain areas are off limits. We block off and compartmentalize certain aspects of our lives and tell Jesus to keep His distance from those, either because we’re not willing to give them up or because we don’t think He can actually help. Or in some cases, we don’t think we’re worthy of being healed.
But if you want to be a strong Christian, you have to let God heal your roots all the way. You can only grow as tall as your roots can grow deep.
I have realized that there are areas in my own heart that I have blocked Christ from healing, many of them dealing with fear and major insecurity issues. And I can rationalize and hypothesize those issues away, but that won’t heal them. That will just allow me to hide them like I always have. But opening that part of my heart to Christ and allowing Him to fix what’s wrong will not only result in peace but will also allow me to take the next steps in my walk with God. But until I let Him fix me, I won’t be ready to do what He’s planned for me to do.
Oh, yes, I can continue to bump along the bottom, still doing good things for Him and helping others. But God has a dream for me that’s bigger than I can wrap my head around. And I’m not living that dream right now. For so long, I thought I was waiting on Him. But now I’m beginning to realize that He’s waiting on me.
If there’s a part of your heart that you’ve closed off to God for any reason, consider opening it up. It hurts, but every wound has to hurt before it can heal. And the stronger your roots grow, the more effective you will be and the more storms you can weather and the more you can accomplish for God.