During the winter, when the visible parts are dormant, the roots continue to function and grow even if the air above ground is brutally cold. This steady, persistent activity at root level fortifies the tree and prepares it for the rapid growth of spring. Winter root activity strengthens, giving trees staying power through the heat and drought of summer and fall.
I think we can draw two important parallels between us and the oaks. First, surface appearances aren't everything. Second, we each have a vital taproot.
"Faithful and patient be my life as thine;
As strong to wrestle with the storms of time;
As deeply rooted in a soil of love;
As grandly rising to the heavens above." (Poems, p.20)
And the apostle Paul prayed that we should all know our taproot - the Christ, the powerful message of God, divine Love - that feeds humanity with what is most essential to rapid and permanent growth. Here are three different takes on Paul's prayer found in his letter to the Ephesians, chapter 3, verses14-19:
"I’m asking God to give you a gift from the wealth of his glory. I pray that he would give you inner strength and power through his Spirit. Then Christ will live in you through faith. I also pray that love may be the ground into which you sink your roots and on which you have your foundation. This way, with all of God’s people you will be able to understand how wide, long, high, and deep his love is. You will know Christ’s love, which goes far beyond any knowledge. I am praying this so that you may be completely filled with God." (God's Word)
"I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God." (The Message)
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