Black-Eyed Susan’s. Compass Plant. Purple Coneflower. Ironweed. Rattlesnake Master. Bee Balm. Blanket Flower.
These are just a few of the plants you will find growing in the one acre of prairie my husband and I planted on our property. It has been fun to see our prairie take root and flourish over these last twelve years. The prairie provides beauty to our eyes each year and is home to many fascinating critters, like the green tree frog, eastern meadowlark and monarch butterfly.
Prior to European settlement, more than eighteen million acres of prairie covered Minnesota. It’s hard to believe, but today, less than two percent of Minnesota’s native prairie remains; it is North America’s most endangered habitat type.
The part of the prairie plants that are above the ground provide a brilliant display of color and variety that is pleasant to the eye and soothing to the soul. Yet, without their ability to withstand the intensity of wildfires every three to five years, all that fascinating diversity and beauty would not exist.
You might be asking, “how does a fragile looking plant withstand the scorching heat of a wildfire?” The answer is found in their deep roots; the roots of prairie plants grow up to fifteen feet deep into the soil, far from the heat that would otherwise threaten their life!
This is why prairie grasses and flowers are well suited to fire–in fact, they thrive with it. Fires prevent brush and trees from invading the prairie. After a fire passes through, seeds are widely distributed, and the prairie grasses and other plants respond by bouncing back with even more colorful blooms. New growth is encouraged from the deep roots of the prairie plants that are protected underground. Weeds do not fare as well.
The resilience of the prairie plants, the deep roots they have, and their response to fire creates a wonderful picture for me of how I hope to live when fiery trials come.
I’ve been asking God to create a deep root of faith in me. Roots that are deep can withstand the fire of suffering, challenge and change that is sure to come. When a major trial comes my way, I’m praying that although things may be destroyed above ground, my roots of faith in God will hold strong. That they will help me to persevere, rely on God’s Word, have peace in my soul, and trust in His plan.
I have seen the example of others with a deep root of faith. They have walked through the painful trials of a bad medical diagnosis, a difficult marriage, crippling depression or losing a child. I’ve seen their deep-rooted faith hold them with a strength they clearly could not muster on their own.
Will my roots of faith hold? I’m trusting that they will, but I won’t absolutely know until I get there. In the meantime, I’ll continue to add things into my life that encourage growth in my roots of faith: Bible reading, prayer, listening for the leading of the Holy Spirit, community with believers in Jesus, and spending time with family and friends that strengthen and encourage my faith.
God is an artist and His creation displays His character. Next time you enjoy the beauty of wildflowers, I would encourage you to not only experience awe of the amazing display but take one step further and ask the Awesome One to grow a deep root of faith in you.
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. – Colossians 2:6-7