To be a sweet gum tree

Recently, during a thunderstorm, we had one of our large oak trees uprooted. I was saddened because I knew the tree had taken many years to grow that large. The diameter of the trunk of the tree was at least three feet and it took lots of the smaller trees with it when it fell. What amazed me was the small size of the root ball from that massive oak. The root ball was no more than seven or eight feet across and the deepest roots to come out of the ground were only about two feet deep. The oak tree does not have a single large tap root. I don’t understand how that root ball supported that large tree for all those years, withstanding all the storms through the years.

When we first cleared our lot to build our house, there was a sweet gum tree near the construction. This tree was about the size of the oak noted earlier, a very large tree. I cut the tree down and hauled it away but the stump remained in the yard. While digging the septic tank I asked the backhoe operator to dig the stump up for me. He was glad to oblige but what we soon learned is that a sweet gum tree has a tremendously large tap root. By the time we were able to dig the sweet gum stump out of the yard we had a hole big enough to bury a full size car and it was probably ten feet deep!

Many trees have a root system under the earth that will very nearly match the visible portion above ground. I am told that there are some desert plants that have tap roots over 200 feet deep in order to reach the necessary water for their existence. I don’t know about that, but I do know a sweet gum tree has a long tap root!

When I think about the roots to these trees I am reminded of Colossians 2:7: “rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught.”

Ephesians 3:17 reads, “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love.”

The Greek word rendered rooted is rhizoo and means to cause to strike root, to strengthen with roots, or to cause to be firmly grounded. I wish to be rooted in Him and firmly grounded in love. I want to grow my roots deep in Him. Jesus explained that the tree on stony ground withered in the heat of the sun because it lacked root (Matthew 13: 5, 6). I don’t want to wither when the heat of the sun appears.

I want to be firmly grounded and deeply rooted. How do I do this? If I expect to grow in my faith I must spend time in GOD’S word and I must be faithful in my prayer life. His Word is the source of my nourishment.

With such a long tap root, the gum tree will break during violent storms before it becomes uprooted. I want to be rooted so that when the storms of life occur, and they will, I will not become uprooted.

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One Response to To be a sweet gum tree

  1. I live in a nice travel trailer under the shade of a very large and full sweetgum tree in my backyard. When storms come, I command that sweetgum tree’s limbs to hold fast and not fall onto my travel trailer. We have a neighbor who has two sweetgum trees at their fence line. They blessed us with an extensive above ground root system when they built their fence. After many years of cutting grass over these long root systems, God blessed me with many very healthy violet plants that spread from the fence line to cover all those very unsightly roots. Today the question entered my head wondering why my tree only has an ocassional root knee around it and I wondered if it had a deep tap root. I looked at several sites on the internet trying to determine the answer to that question. I finally found your site which tells me that I may have a very large tap root. Thank you for your information, and I enjoyed reading your article. God bless you! Would you be so kind as to join with me as I seek shelter under the wings of the Almighty and pray that my sweetgum tree holds onto its limbs ? We’ve had a lot of rain and storms here lately and I live here without fear, knowing my Father loves me so very much. It is nice to know that my tree has a very large tap root and is not just dependent on the other surface root system. God bless you, my friend.

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