Loved ones on the West coast navigate fires as flames engulf homes and take lives. COVID-19 has flipped our kitchen table into a school room, and thousands search jobs.com for leads.
In the midst of all of this, my family moved.
My husband, Jason, accepted a pastoral position in another state. So, we left. Uprooted. Our lives yanked out of the soil of deep friendships and extended family.
And all the changes cause an ache in our souls.
Do you feel uprooted too?
Whether you are making a move, choking on smoke under your mask, or lost your job—we all experience feeling uprooted.
In my own struggle, I’m reminding myself of three truths. And they might encourage you as well.
1. We’re never uprooted from the Lord.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
However lonely, anxious, or tired we feel, God camps out with us. His presence dwells in the hearts of those who have turned from sin toward Him by faith. We can trust that He will never allow us to journey the scorched wilderness without also giving us Himself.
At the same time, it’s okay to grieve. Having to let go of the life we once had and embracing the good of the present causes a kind of grief. We can always see the good of the past, but to see the future, we must rely entirely on imagination—especially when life shifts so drastically.
The sin of the Israelites in the wilderness was their grumbling, not their grief. Uprooted from Egypt, yes they transitioned from slavery to freedom, but they also left everything familiar. And when things got hard, they let their grief turn into grumbling.
We can grieve in a way that honors God—the kind of grief that says, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be His name.” Grieving is not sin. For me, this has meant taking all my feelings and thoughts to the Lord in prayer—all of it—no matter how ugly and sloppy. And even my grumbling I place before His throne so that it does not fester. His Spirit then guides my heart and feelings toward truth and comfort.
Sometimes uprooting provides opportunity for new growth as we process our grief with the Lord. Like a potted plant that reaches ceramic boundaries and must move to a larger pot to thrive, the Lord replants us. That uprooting and replacing give the plant a chance to nourish new branches and bud fresh hydrangeas.
Even when we can’t see the work God is doing, we can trust He is with us—and is causing fresh beauty to grow as a result of our difficulty as we trust in Him.
2. The Lord Jesus lived uprooted. He knows.
(Jesus) Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God
something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Jesus uprooted himself from the glory of heaven to redeem us. Not only that, his earthly parents (Mary and Joseph) had to flee Bethlehem in the middle of the night to avoid soldiers obeying Herod’s decree to kill all the baby boys (Matthew 2:13–23). After re-rooting in Egypt for some time, they had to uproot again to return to Israel and settle in Nazareth.
As an adult, Jesus also lived an uprooted earthly life, traveling from place to place declaring the Kingdom of heaven (Luke 9:58).
So, when we feel uprooted, Jesus understands.
3. We have eternal roots.
They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth,
for people who speak in this way make it clear
that they are seeking a homeland.
If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind,
they would have had opportunity to return.
But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one.
Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God;
indeed, he has prepared a city for them.
Home. Land. Peace. These are all longings of our hearts because that is the way life started in the Garden of Eden before the fall (Genesis 1–3). We are created to stay in place and to live in peace with God and creation.
So, until harmony and “home” returns when Christ comes back, we always live uprooted lives with eternal roots.
These 3 truths can give us hope as we grieve and ache for rootedness.
- We are never uprooted from the Lord. He is with us in Nebraska, Nigeria, and everywhere else.
- The Lord lived uprooted. He sympathizes with our longing for stability, provision, and peace.
- We have eternal roots. One day we will live with Christ on the renewed earth and never again be uprooted.
What comforts you when you feel uprooted?
About The Author
Seana Scott writes and speaks to equip women to know the Bible, walk closely with God, and live with purpose. She is working toward a degree from Dallas Theological Seminary while raising three kids with her husband in Pittsburgh. You can find her writing at SeanaScott.org and elsewhere.