Heart-level, Christ-centered relationships with other believers are a vital part of a healthy, growing relationship with God.
Years ago, a handful of adults and myself took a group of students from our church’s youth group on a several day hiking trip in the mountains of Colorado. It was actually this time of year, we left on July 5th. We had a really knowledgeable trail guide who also served as a sort of spiritual guide as well. Along the trail, he pointed out a lot of things in nature that teach us about spiritual realities. The lessen he shared from Aspen trees is one that I have never forgotten.
A little about these beautiful trees, they’re easily recognized by their white bark. They’re commonly around 3-18 inches diameter but they grow to an impressive 20 to 80 feet in height. They live about 150-200 yrs. You can find them in Colorado and parts of NM and and up in the northwest and some northeastern parts of the US and then all over Canada.
Here’s the lesson to be learned from Aspen trees, they can’t survive alone. Rarely would you find just one Aspen tree. If you do it’s likely short lived. By their nature, Aspens are not a solitary tree. Their roots run lateral, just below the earth’s surface and spring up and give life to other aspen trees. They’re roots aren’t deep, but they are connected. So Aspen tree growth is a community effort. They are all connected by their roots and they share nutrients and resources to help and support each other.
This is picture of us church! A huge part of us being rooted in Christ, is also being rooted in one another. We are to share the spiritual nutrients that God gives each of us. That’s true sense of fellowship.
When you can, take some time to read through Romans 15:1-7. As you read, note the importance of how we are to value and interact with one another. Also, notice the example that we are to look to for how we relate to one another, particularly in vs 2 and vs 7.
Church, let’s be good Aspens and make a concerted effort to share life with others in a way that helps them abide in and follow hard after Jesus!