When I was in collage, I had a big, beautiful plant named Dave.
He was a dieffenbachia plant, so my roommate and I wanted to give him a name that started with a “D” – Dave, the Dieffenbachia.
He grew to be large and very leafy, and we loved having that fresh burst of green in our room. We heard somewhere that coffee grinds could fertilize plants, and fortunately for Dave, my roommate LOVED coffee. Dave got a lot of coffee grinds that year….
Anyway, Dave did so well in dorm that I brought him back the next year, too. He grew to be as tall as me, big, beautiful and green.
One day, I was sitting in my room doing homework, when I heard a strange rustling sound. I turned around just in time to see Dave fall to the floor and die. It was kind of shocking.
I hurried over to his pot, and pulled a little at his thick stem, trying to figure out what had happened. To my surprise, it came right out of the dirt, just like that.
Dave had no roots.
From the outside, everything looked perfectly fine. There was no indication that anything was wrong, but underneath the dirt, his roots were not growing. But Dave needed deep roots under the surface to support what was growing above the surface.
And I’ve been thinking about how easy it is for my relationship with Jesus to slip into “Dave-mode” – what you see on the outside is really all that there is. Roots start to suffer pretty quickly if they are not getting what they need to grow.
Oswald Chambers writes, “My worth to God in public is what I am in private.” (My Utmost For His Highest, March 17 devotional)
Another quote I love is what Jon Acuff’s dad said to him:
Sometimes it scares me how easy it is to fake the public part while completely neglecting the private part. Not that our fake attempts come anything close to a spirit-filled life, but it’s funny how often we try.
But I feel depleted very quickly when I’m giving to a lot of people without getting filled up myself. My giving to others should spill out from the overflow of a heart filled with Jesus – I want so much of Him in me that I can’t run dry. I want Him to pour through me to others.
Healthy roots are required for all of those desires! Deep, private roots.
Moral of the story: Don’t be like Dave!
Dig down deep into Jesus, so that nothing in this world will be able to knock you over.