From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Some neighbors planted a young plum tree thinking it would shade a corner of their home. Instead, it was struck with blights and would lean until its branches touched the ground in any strong wind. No matter how they staked it, it would not stand tall against the elements. When examined, the tree had never taken root because it had been planted close to a downspout. The roots never stretched beyond its infant root ball to find water.
Contrast this with another sapling planted in a different environment but on the same property. The sapling was able to reach up for sun and out for water and its roots had room to grow—it was not bound by its environment.
After our roots of faith are planted in the fertile ground of truth, we should grow in understanding God’s Word with the help of His Spirit, and through prayer and fellowship with other believers. Only with a deep root system can we endure the storms of life. This prepares us for things ahead. If believers stay entrenched in things that pull them down or if we are motivated to please others, it will stunt our growth and render us ineffective.
We mustn’t plant ourselves in an environment that causes us to fall. We must grow in the things of God and apply His truth to everything we do. “Blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice” (Luke 11:28, NLT).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)