Rooted in Hope

Recently I walked among the giant trees within Sequoia National Park. This particular trip had been on my to-do list for several years, and I had the privilege of sharing the experience with two of my closest friends. Many things caught our attention during the snow-covered hike; not only did the scene make you feel incredibly small (the largest of these trees sits at over 52,000 cubic feet), but we also learned a sequoia’s root system is relatively shallow. How do the largest living things in the world withstand earthquakes, winds, and prolonged flooding with roots only 6-12 feet under soil? God designed each tree’s roots to intertwine with its neighbors’ -- literally holding each other up. 

Within the last nine months I experienced a trauma at work that placed me at a crossroads of my faith. I grappled with an accumulation of overall hopeless emotions; I was in the dark, exactly where Satan wanted me. I asked questions which may have been uttered from your own lips before: How can I reconcile a good God with terrible events? With the encouragement of my sister and the same close friends mentioned above, I sought counseling; my own coping mechanisms that had historically been adequate were now proving wearily insufficient. 

The hike among the sequoias got me thinking: for as mighty and majestic these trees stand, they are not made in the image of the Almighty. So how do we, the most valuable creation in the world, withstand loss, trauma, and an active enemy with our limited abilities and resources? God designed us to hold one another up. However, unlike the great sequoias, our peers and neighbors alone are insufficient. We must be rooted deeply into God, drawing the water of life from Him, the inexhaustible source.

Over the course of many months walking through grief, hindered by the weight of my deceitful thoughts, Christ began to renew my hope as I drank from His eternal spring. Hope began to rebuild as I became more intimately aware of Christ’s own sufferings and the hope His resurrection provides. My counselor guided me towards 2 Corinthians 10:5 where Paul provides this call to action to the church: We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ. Satan wants nothing more than to cut us off at the root, isolate us, and disorient our understanding of God’s goodness. Yet when we root every thought in Christ, light overcomes darkness, we experience communion not isolation, and we extend our hope, not despair. 

By Bethany Taylor

Bethany has been calling Immanuel Baptist her church home since 2014. She is a labor and delivery nurse in Lexington and currently working towards a master’s degree in religion from Kentucky Christian University.

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