The unhindered view from the 6tth floor apartment is spectacular especially at sunset; but it does have a challenge -there is no protection from sun or from wind.
Over the past few years I’ve had to experiment to discover what plants will grow well in such conditions. Sweet smelling trees like “Jasmine” are out of the question as are many pretty flowering plants. So I’ve learned to like a variety of cactus and spices.
But I so love color.
Thus I was thrilled to learn that pansies are great in the winter months AND love lots of sunlight.
So I loaded up on pansies with their face-like petals.
But some weren’t quite ready for the incessant sun. Others didn’t survive the learning curve as I determined how much water they needed. Still others didn’t last through my travel schedule.
However there were several hearty plants that thrived. That is until a “freak” storm hit Israel. Rain, hail and even snow pounded the entire country. Most destructive of all was the wind.
Although annoyed, I didn’t mind the loss of the cover for the grill that we had carefully tied down after losing the first one. But I was really upset about the beautiful pansies.
The wind had lifted them right out of the ground! They had been flexible enough to withstand the normal” late-afternoon winds, but when the pressure increased they could not stand. Only one solitary plant remained.
They had been grounded in good soil and nourished well, but they had not developed a strong enough root system.
We, like the pansies need to be grounded AND rooted!
I had learned about the importance of roots several years ago when I had a little plot of land outside my cellar apartment. The plot had been neglected for years and looked like a forest. There was one particularly ugly and bothersome plant that spewed its huge leaves onto the little space of patio. It had to go!
I cut off its leaves down to the ground. Then I tried to pull out the roots. Didn’t work. Having no real tools, I used a little pair of scissors to cut into the ground following the root system. I worked for hours digging, cutting and pulling. The root system seemed to meander all over the “garden” having neither beginning nor end.
By the third day I was determined. No I was angry. This was war.
With scissors in hand I used my God given authority to take dominion.
Eventually the victory was mine!
As ugly as I considered these roots to be, they did show me what it means to be “rooted and grounded.”
- Rooted: ῥιζόω rhizoō: to strengthen with roots, to render firm, to fix, establish, cause a person or a thing to be thoroughly grounded.
- Grounded: θεμελιόω themelioō: to lay the foundation, to make stable, establish
Being rooted and ground in love is crucial. Why? Because we have been created to receive and to respond to God’s love.
God’s love has given us:
- Abundant life
- Eternal life
And in response we:
God’s love will hold us secure through the harsh winds of winter. God’s love will comfort us when our hearts break. God’s love will enlighten our darkness. God’s love will provide a refuge when we are abandoned. God’s love will fill the hole from rejection or betrayal. God’s love is always available. God’s love never fails.
So let us pray Paul’s prayer:
[T]hat He would grant me, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in my heart through faith; that I, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that I may be filled with all the fullness of God.
 Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for rhizoō (Strong’s 4492)“. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2013. 8 Jan 2013. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm? Strongs=G4492&t=KJV >
 Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for themelioō (Strong’s 2311)“. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2013. 8 Jan 2013. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm? Strongs=G2311&t=KJV >