A common sight around SE Louisiana in my 11 years here has been the uprooted tree. Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, & Gustav were the worst culprits. A few thoughts that have informed my faith as I’ve experienced trees in a Hurricane Zone:
- Trees that fall often have shallow root systems. Like the tree in the picture, root systems can be wide, but depth can be noted as shallow on many of the trees that fall. This may be no fault of the tree itself, because its planted in an area where water is near the surface so it doesn’t have to dig much for nutrition. And then the ground it’s rooted in may be muddy and soft instead of solid giving it even less stability.
- Trees that don’t fall are less likely to fall next time. As a matter of fact, an arborist told me after Katrina that if you could see underground during a storm, that scientists say you could visually see roots going down and trees digging in for all of their lives. So many trees that are leaning are unlikely to fall, because the catastrophic wind pushed them to develop stronger roots.
- Trees that fall are often standing alone. If you walk into a wooded area after a storm, unless there were tornadoes ripping trees apart, you’re not likely to see many trees blown over. They help each other shield the wind and their roots are intertwined in such a way that they help hold each other up. The most common site is the lone tree in the yard blown over. It simply had no help and had to try to stand on its own.
- Dead trees seldom fall. One thing a lot of folks were shaking their heads about after Hurricane Katrina, was why the dead trees seemed to be still standing. An arborists gave me a simple answer: there’s no fruit or produce on them to catch resistance. The wind has little to utilize in pushing them over, so they tend to survive catastrophic wind events, but fail because of their own death and decay.
Trees and Faith:
- When it comes to spiritual growth and surviving the storms of life roots are most important. Deep roots. And what kind of substance that root system is built in. Colossians 2::6-7 says, “as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, ROOTED and built up in Him…” Is your faith shallow, surface level, easy? Are you’re roots in something that’s not substantive? For the real Christian, storms serve a valuable purpose in helping our roots strengthen in Christ.
- When it comes to spiritual growth and surviving the storms of life having other strong folks with deep roots around you matters as well. How many strong people are you intertwining your roots with? How many people do you have that you can rely upon to help hold you up when things get windy?
- And what about the person that’s not trying, or is doing things dishonestly, or isn’t walking with the Lord at all? Why do they seem to make out ok against life’s storms? There’s no resistance. If you’re walking with God, bearing spiritual fruit, expect storms and wind and opposition. But also expect the God in whom you are rooted to hold you up in the midst of the storm.