Did you know that trees communicate with each other? They use a network of fungi in their roots to create a support system that allows them to share resources and send out warnings. A tree that’s being attacked by insects can send a warning to other trees. A tall tree that gets plenty of sunlight can send vital nutrients to shaded saplings. Alone they’re more vulnerable, but together they can grow, thrive, and withstand problems. It’s a great illustration of how God wants His church to function. ‘The whole body depends on Christ, and all the parts of the body are joined and held together. Each part does its own work to make the whole body grow and be strong with love. (Ephesians 4:15-16 NCV). Often, we want to work alone, especially if we’re a more independent type. But sooner or later, we’ll come up against a problem that makes us realise our need for: 1) Encouragement. Even Paul needed cheering on. He wrote: ‘Everyone in Asia has left me, even Phygelus and Hermogenes. May the Lord show mercy to the family of Onesiphorus, who has often helped me and was not ashamed that I was in prison. When he came to Rome, he looked eagerly for me until he found me’ (2 Timothy 1:15-17 NCV). 2) Sympathy. We all need to be understood and have our feelings validated. But sometimes we’re in such a hurry to ‘fix’ people, we forget to sympathise with them. 3) Grace. ‘Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others’ (Colossians 3:13 NLT). God’s grace to us should motivate us to show grace to others, and we’ll never be asked to show more grace to someone than God has already shown to us.
Go for a walk in a wood or forest with a group of friends or family. As you’re walking through the trees, think about their underground support network, and spend a few minutes thanking God for your support networks.
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