Photo: Elizabeth Odders-White

When reading this passage, I think not only of its promise—of a Messiah who will grow from humble beginnings—but of the many forms of growth and change we long for in our lives. We so often want, or even expect, change to happen quickly, and perhaps now more than ever we are desperate for visible signs of progress.

And yet, real transformation rarely takes place overnight. Like a plant putting down the roots it needs to thrive, true growth takes time and is often imperceptible at first. Only after these invisible but critical roots are established are we able to support the shoots that will eventually become branches loaded with vibrant blooms.

Although this may require patience (something that is often in short supply for me!), we are not asked to establish these roots on our own. Instead, we can rely on God’s strong foundation to ground and nourish us. No matter the struggles we face or the changes we desire, we can rest in knowing that God provides the stability and light we need to grow and flourish.

Dear God, during this season of Lent, let the roots of your presence grow ever stronger in our lives, providing nourishment when we are weak, comfort when we are troubled, and hope when we feel lost. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Elizabeth Odders-White, LCM Supporter

A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.

-Isaiah 11:1