By: Dr. Julie Mosher
As a native Floridian and an alumna of a marine biology lab, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the mangrove tree as I think about being rooted in Christ. The mangrove tree has always been fascinating to me because of its beautifully intricate above ground root system. In order to adapt to their environment, mangroves build prop roots to provide stability in the soft sandy coast and also build upward roots to seek an oxygen source. (It’s pretty neat, look it up if you’re a nerd like me or even if you just want to picture yourself on the beach). Just as the mangrove’s roots give it the ability to adapt and flourish all over Florida, my roots in Christ have recently kept me basking in the sun, above water.
Mangrove roots are visible and interconnected; thank goodness Christian roots are as well! I recently graduated as a DVM from Purdue University. Reflecting on my experience over the past 4 years, I thank God for the Christian role models or “visible roots” he placed in Lynn Hall to draw me closer to him. One of my deciding factors to attend Purdue was their CVF student involvement in the interview day. I can’t tell you why I was so interested in CVF initially, as my journey with God was more superficial at that time than I would like to admit, but I praise God that he planted that seed in my heart. When I started CVF, I was challenged by a great Christian view that greatly contrasted the worldly view I had become too comfortable with. I met amazing sisters and brothers in Christ and knew I wanted to share in their contagious joy from God. I don’t know if it was during the weekly bible studies, Real Life Real Impact, a local short-term mission, or through the grueling demands of vet school, but my heart gradually changed. I went from being rooted amongst many worldly weeds to being part of a visible root system that worked together to glorify God.
These roots allowed me to see God’s faithfulness amongst the challenges that presented with COVID-19. Although my graduation and end of the year festivities were canceled, many more of my loved ones got to watch the virtual event than would have been possible in person. Additionally, my husband found a great job in the middle of a pandemic (Praise!), so we were able to move back to Florida earlier than expected. Lastly, the bible study I hosted during my clinical year (since we no longer had lunchtime to attend CVF meetings) moved onto Zoom which easily encouraged continuity after vet school. I have also seen God’s faithfulness amongst the beautiful rest he has given me. As a painfully pure extrovert, I have started to learn to enjoy my alone time. I have had meaningful phone calls with friends in need, I have developed some cooking skills, and I have rekindled my love of running in the sun. The best way I spent my alone time was by developing daily time with God. He was always there giving me peace when some quarantine days seemed harder than others. I know he will continue to give me rest in him as I start my new job as a veterinarian within the next few weeks. How has God been faithful to you over the past few months? How have you been faithful to him?
So today in the midst of some challenging times, I urge you to be like the mangrove; be the visible Christian root to others. Show others the importance of being rooted in Christ. Be the root that grows against gravity, against all obstacles, up towards God to provide the world with something just as essential as oxygen, God’s unrelentless love.