Established roots remain
The aftermath from this unparalleled frigid weather across Texas and elsewhere to plants, vegetation and trees has been pretty revealing as to just how bad it was. Time to own a landscaping company in Dallas for sure. I have never experienced anything like it. It has been interesting to see the impact on different types of plants. Some survived very well while others have died. This past week we saw the brilliant flowering blossoms of the white Bradford Pear and the purple Redbuds.
As I have audited our yard which had many pink ruffle azalea bushes, one thing became obvious. The older, mature plants lost their leaves, but they are actually starting to bloom. The ones that were planted two years ago or less have completely died. It became apparent that the deeper established root system provided the opportunity to survive and live. The ones with shallow roots, not as well-established, could not withstand the sub-zero freeze.
Does this remind you of the parable Jesus taught about building your house on sand or rock? Both are okay until the storms come. Same with our plants. The sand foundation (root system) was not strong enough to withstand the violent storms or elements. But what exactly is this ‘rock’? It’s a great image, but it is really more. Jesus called Simon by another name—Peter, which meant rock, making a significant point. “And upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Mt. 16.18) So, is Peter the rock?
Rock is described as a large mass of stone forming a hill, cliff, promontory, or the like. Sounds very firm and immovable. So is Jesus stating that he is going to construct his church on some form of hill or mountain? There have been several monasteries built on the sides of mountains. I think it is more than a person or a building site. Much more.
The Lord is my rock
David writes: “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliver; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust” (Psa. 18.2). There could not be a more complete description of what Jesus was saying. Look at this—my rock, fortress, deliverer, strength, trust! What more could one need? So, if David is right, and he is, what makes the Lord our rock other than being God? Why can I embrace this and rely on him?
The Spirit through the Psalmist shows us a very safe reason. David says—” He (the Lord) also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps” (Psa. 40.2). Look at what Jesus has done, for you, for me, for his church. We were, in our sin, trapped in a pit with our feet stuck in clay, oozing through our toes as we are sinking, never to be found. But, the Lover of our Souls rescued us, and took us to high ground. This could happen only because of his atoning death, resurrection and ascension prompted by his love.
Why do we need such a ‘rock’? Would you agree that we have enemies all around, seen and unseen? David surely understood. So, let’s join David again and proclaim with him: “For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock” (Psa. 27.5). Jesus, the Word of God, is that rock! In him, the storms can’t harm you.