In James 1:1 he says it: scattered. The church was scattered{Greek: diaspora}. But not like roaches when the lights come on. Like seed. Because sometimes the church needs to be scattered before she can grow.

I’ve lived this lesson. This is a first hand experience for me. Almost 3 years ago we moved from just north of Fort Worth to just north of Austin. Yes, it was for a job, but really it was because we needed to move. Literally and figuratively. It was bittersweet. Moving meant leaving lifelong friends, lots of family {read: babysitters and family gatherings around really good food}, a great town, a church we loved. But it was undeniable–God was scattering us.

So we pulled away from comfort and planted in the unknown. But nothing is unknown to God. And while it was very still and quiet here with just our little family for about a year, I realize that was us, soaking before roots sprouted. You see my friend Catherine taught me that even if you take a little cutting from a larger plant and place it in water, eventually it will sprout roots. It will turn in to its own plant, stable enough to be planted and grow on its own. {I tried it, and it worked! This was very exciting to me.}


You know I really thought those little clippings would die. And one little guy looked so withered, but his root was about 3 times the size of the clipping.


Which reminds me of this>>Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Col. 2:7

And this>>Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. Eph 3:17

That’s us. Sometimes your faith grows stronger when you’re scattered. Sometimes a new home feels most cozy when you feel Christ more at home in you. We have learned, struggled, bonded as a family. We are rich in friends and church family. I actually feel more me than before…if that makes sense. More passionate. I’m absolutely more eager to take a risk. And ultimately I’m more usable. In the best sense.

My friend Heidi is part of a church plant in Central Austin. One night around a table one of our friends asked her how it was going and kind of hinted at a tinge of concern. But Heidi, warrior heart beating, said, “It’s dirty. But I’m more alive!” Yes. Yes. Cutting and planting can be a dirty business, wracked with uncertainty. But when you experience your roots growing. Reaching new depths of faith. Sinking deeper into the soaking love of Jesus. You know, you must go.

Where are you feeling scattered? Will you say yes?


6 thoughts on “Roots

  1. I understand scattered. Even though I have lived in the same city nearly all of my life, I have been scattered in several ways in the last 17 years. I hate the unknown, I hate change, I hate being scattered. But, I love how Jesus never changes and always reveals Himself more clearly in the middle of the scattering. (I just wish we still had Sunday lunches with each other.)

  2. Well, I just loved reading “Roots” and feel like I’m alone, the only one in the house awake, just so I can soak it in. Thanks for posting it on Facebook, or I would never have known you’re a blogger!

    The thing about horticulture is that God created it. And I love how it fits perfectly into His Word, as you so beautifully illustrated above.

    Trimming plant cuttings hurts! But the growth happens there in that little individual. Did you know that the cutting, the term for the little plantlet, is scientifically considered a clone? It will carry the exact genetics as the “parent” plant. Mull on that for a while!

    To scatter seed, a plant produces a bud, then the bud turns to bloom, which is pollinated, and then produces the seed(s), and then DIES. At that point the seed is scattered. Jn. 12:24-26: I (Jesus) tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
    Scattering seed/diaspora comes only with death, TO SELF, and usually it benefits the self none, but grows others (as opposed to the cutting method).

    two methods of propagation, two ways to be spent for eternal growth

  3. MJ,
    Thanks for your words. We were scattered at the same time, but to two different places. I totally get what you are saying. Sometimes I can be scattered physically, but yet not sumbit to it spiritually. It’s like I’m refusing to take root in this new place because I so long for my past soil. Not a healthy choice. I also want to add a link to a song that I absolutely love. It talks about roots, growing, and blooming and… well it is wonderful song/prayer. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. It’s called “For Your Splendor” by Christy Nockels

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