Weekly Blog - Liz Harden - Be Rooted in Love
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Posted on: 26th April 2023
‘Wow look at that tree. Isn’t it beautiful...’ My friend laughed, as mid flow talking, distracted again, I suddenly took a tangent and pointed to the copper birch before us. The sun was shining on the bared bark, revealing the beauty of the red, copper, and golden threads running through it. It was spectacular. We marvelled how we had not noticed this tree before.
As a sapling it was easy to miss. It has done well to withstand the various storms, exceptional heat, torrential rain, and icy winters of recent years. But all this time it has been steadily growing unnoticed in a spot where the sun shines its full glorious warmth and light.
I sensed God drawing my attention to it. The Bible says that by our love for one another, others will know that we are Jesus’ disciples. It frequently talks about God loving us and as we express his love to others, we reveal him and his nature.
The copper birch, living in the light and a well-watered soil, has grown sturdy and strong despite the heat, storms, freezing and mutilations of nature and human activity. Vulnerability and exposure to the elements, has split the protective outer bark to reveal the beauty of the new bark beneath and shines with resplendence. We can let our own brokenness conceal God or allow our protective veneers break away and reveal God’s nature and healing at work in us.
Despite the ravages of life, when we stay in the presence of Jesus light, rooted in his word, God’s genuine love shines its warmth and heat into us enabling us to grow, thrive and shine despite the adverse seasons. With that same love that we have received we can love others, knowing that we
were first loved unconditionally, freely, generously, and sacrificially.
God’s love looks like vulnerability and death on a cross. It is sacrifice of one’s own rights and entitlements. It is grace. Undeserved and frequently rejected. God’s love pursues us, and his kindness lovingly corrects us when we are hurting and hindering others. He sends the brave and willing to speak to our blind spots, to challenge us when we have acted harmfully; and remind us of who we really are. A child of God.
There is no fear in love. Perfect love drives out fear. Fear says we need to protect ourselves from exposure and vulnerability. Fear says we need to protect our interests, rights and entitlements. Fear says we need to protect ourselves from all wounding and lack. Fear justifies our disregard of others
in pursuit of our own gains.
Genuine love looks like following Jesus to the cross. Despite our hardships, we rest and bask in the truth of who God is and choose death to ourselves for the love of others. Just like the tree we stand before him, receiving his love and letting it show all it’s beautiful red, copper and golden hues through us. God’s love shines brilliantly out of us. With that same love, we love others to his glory. Let’s remain vulnerably rooted and planted in him always, and over time, one day others will catch sight of his beautiful work within us and say, ‘Wow look at that!’
Liz Harden, Vineyard House