Sometimes, I can’t help but feel sorry for uprooted trees, even if they are simply waiting for a plant lover to put them in a more permanent place. Trees are wired to root deeply into things, and having such roots exposed and unattached seems like it would be a scary and raw thing.
I mean, if trees had feelings.
Trees are pretty good analogies for our identities. We sink the roots of our soul into what we think will provide a permanent spot. We plant ourselves into what we think is best.
“We sink the roots of our soul into what we think will provide a permanent spot.”
If I’ve learned anything in the past week (and the past years of life), it is that God is not content with simply allowing you to find your source of identity in anything outside of Him. Sure, roots in other places may prop you up for a while, but that only serves to hide the fact that you’re slowly but surely dying.
In this past week, a huge part of my life was suddenly gone. It left without warning, and there was no time to steel myself for its loss. It just HAPPENED.
The sense of wandering and lostness I felt after hearing this news was terrifying. If my foundation is to be Christ and Christ alone, why was I so shaken by losing this part of my life? Why did I feel as if I lost a section of my identity at the same time?
“If my foundation is to be Christ and Christ alone, why was I so shaken by losing this part of my life?”
I suddenly found myself feeling a lot like those uprooted trees I had sympathized.
Paul was well aware of the human tendency to sink our roots and find our identities in everything and anything but Christ. Writing in Colossians, he urged,
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” (Col. 2:6-7, emphasis added)
In having my soul disentangled and uprooted from the place where it sought identity, I may feel raw or lost, but that’s not where I have to stay. A clean start, a brand new beginning, a chance to preach to my heart once again where my identity lies. That’s what this is.
My identity is in Christ. It always has been, it always will be. Only there am I fully Kelvey, fully human, fully alive. Sometimes, it takes being yanked away from a false source of identity to remember that.