Ephesians 3:17-18 (New International Version)
17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
The Inside Passage of Alaska has the highest annual rainfall averages in the country. Ketchikan, for example, receives 150 inches of precipitation annually, close to three times Juneau's total, and ten times of what Anchorage receives. But no town gets more rain than Little Port Walter with averages of 220 inches! Rubber boots seems to be the most popular shoe, and they are worn so frequently that they're called "Alaska tennis shoes" and "Sitka slippers".
Snowfall isn't any better, ranging from 36.9 inches in Ketchikan to 122.6 inches in Haines. Someone in Juneau told me they got up to 150 mile an hour winds in the winter. The Internet only recorded winds up to 41 miles per hour, however this is still significant!
Let's imagine for a moment that you are a tree. (I could think of far worse comparisons!) The soil in most coastal areas is only two to six inches deep. Not much for even ideal climates, but combine this with heavy precipitation and strong winds, and one can only wonder how trees can survive in such hostile environments.
It is true that some fall down, especially in the wintertime, but many remain standing tall, facing the inclement weather with confidence. What is the secret to their success? Their root systems are intertwined with one another. The more roots a tree has that are intertwined with other trees, the more the tree can resist the challenges of the weather. The weather does not phase them because there is confidence and strength in unity.
The same is true for us. If we face hostilities on our own, these turbulences will eventually tear us down. Only by being intertwined by faith with our families and friends, with fellow believers, and especially with our Forever Friend, can we stand tall and face the storms of our life. We can't make it on our own!
May we learn to depend more and more on Jesus and on our fellow believers so that we can face the challenges of life with a smile. The storms of life are learning opportunities! Instead of bringing us down, they can lift us higher and higher in our dependence upon the One who can calm turbulent waters!
Dear Lord we pray that we would allow ourselves to be rooted in You, so that when the troubles of live come we can stand strong. In Jesus’ name, Amen.