My faith needs to grow deep.

You know how some people love the thrill of being surprised? They love surprise parties. They would love to show up at work today and be told they are actually going on a surprise vacation and be whisked from their desk to paradise in just a few hours.

They would love to have one of those makeover shows show up at their house with a film crew and be told they’re getting a whole new wardrobe.

Surprises feel thrilling to them. Like the thrill some people get when a roller coaster ride you thought was over suddenly takes off again and starts doing upside down loops. They throw their hands in the air and embrace the thrill of the unknown.

They call that fun.

I don’t.

I love a good birthday party. But I don’t want it to be a surprise.

I love a good vacation. But I don’t want it to be planned for me.

I love winning stuff and would freely accept a gift certificate for a new wardrobe. But I don’t want all the clothes to be picked out for me.

I like (not love) a roller coaster. I don’t mind when it finally crests the lift hill and then careens downward like the bottom just fell out of the world. But I don’t want it to take unexpected twists and turns.

This dislike of surprises can usually be managed with all the things I mentioned.

My friends know not to throw me a surprise party. No one is looking to give me a surprise vacation or new wardrobe. And before getting on a roller coaster, I thoroughly check it out and know its patterned route.

But life is different.

Life twists and turns and throws loops into those places we think will be flat and smooth. Because that’s what life does. Sometimes it all just catches us off guard.

And at the end of the day, I guess that’s why I don’t like to be surprised. I can’t stand to get caught off guard. It makes me feel exposed and afraid.

But slowly, I’m learning it’s not all bad to be a little exposed and afraid.

That vulnerable place reminds us we have needs beyond what we manage. It reminds us we need God. Desperately. Completely.

And into that gap between what we can manage on our own and what we can’t, that’s right where faith steps in and has the opportunity to find deep roots. Roots that dig down and break up previously unearthed places within us.

My faith doesn’t just need to grow big, it needs to grow deep. Yes, I need deep faith roots.

Deep roots anchor us when surprises blow like strong, unruly winds.

Deep roots hold us steady during the next storm that didn’t show up on the radar.

Deep roots find nourishment when the surface gets awfully dry.

Deep roots allow for growth not previously possible.

Deep roots yield rich fruit.

So, I’m learning to not be so afraid of what might be around the next corner. Even if it does catch me off guard. I close my eyes and whisper… “deeper still.”

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit,” (Jeremiah 17: 7-8 ESV).

By Lysa TerKeurst

If you’re looking for encouragement to grow deeper faith roots, check out Lysa’s book, Unglued. Click here to purchase your copy.

{Photo by Gordon M. Robertson}
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  1. 1
    alina y says:

    I am learning to take all the surprises that life brings to me. Learning to lean hard on Christ and trust my God fully with every thing and I really mean everything. When I do I feel peace and his love wrapping around me. Thank you for your post for sharing a piece of yourself with me.

  2. 2

    So true. Two years ago the unexpected happened for me, I was in a place where I had to recognize my need for God even for life itself. I intentionally say “Happened for me”" rather than happened to me. Those two years were the most amazing time: I experienced God’s deep love and care for me when I could do nothing other than receive from Him.
    Lord God I submit. I choose to be in that glorious place of total dependence on you. Thank you, Lord for this reminder today. You are faithful.
    Amen

  3. 3
    sherry says:

    Deep deeper still, strong roots that hold tight, what a beautiful picture these words speak to me this morning. Thank You for your gift of writing !

  4. 4

    Lysa,
    Life has sent so many curve balls flying my way over the past several years and it has left me feeling out of control and very vulnerable. But, I am learning that this is not a bad place to be…in fact, it is right where God wants me to be – trusting, relying, depending and abiding in Him. That is my only true “safe” place. It has served to send my roots deep into Christ’s life giving water. Thank you for a wonderful post and blessed reminder for when I am feeling out of control by life’s surprises.
    Blessings,
    Bev

  5. 5

    Thank you! Thats a great blog and I recognize a lot of it. Let’s trust Him, whatever the future will bring us: beautiful and difficult events. He’s already been there and He knows how to carry us. He knows how to lead us on paths that are unknown for us. Hope and trust.

  6. 6

    Such a subtle difference between big faith and deep faith. I love that deep roots take time and that they are hidden. A beautiful example of our inner relationship with the Lord.

    • 7

      Big faith vs. deep faith……ummmm, that is just what God has been trying to tell me. I need to grow deep faith, be familiar with His word so that it is a part of me, to lean on Him when I get depressed or tempted, etc. I love how you put emily, thank you!

  7. 8

    Not all of life’s surprises are good, but we still serve a good God, who gives good gifts. This has been a life lesson for me too. Opening these hands. Thank you for your encouragement, Lysa. I’ll see you next week in Hershey!!

  8. 9

    Such a blessing to read your article. Thank you for sharing your feelings and thoughts in an honest way. I appreciate you!

  9. 10

    I hear that! God once gave me a picture of a roller coaster; huge and full of twists and turns with me in a little cart, careening along. I said, “yes, that is just how it feels.” Then He reminded me, He built the track! I don’t like the twists and turns, but I love and trust the One who designed them! Thanks for the reminder and encouragement!

  10. 11

    Yes! “That vulnerable place reminds us we have needs beyond what we manage. It reminds us we need God. Desperately. Completely.” – Amen!

    This is beautiful! I could have written the 1st half about myself and the 2nd half reminds me of the song “Lord, I Need You” by Matt Maher. Whenever I hear it, I am brought to my knees, literally and figuratively, worshiping. It becomes my heart and soul prayer. Every. Single. Time.

  11. 12

    You sang my song this morning; control is my biggest idol. When life isn’t going the way I planned, hoped, expected, I feel the panic, despair, and lies of the enemy start to well up. There’s a cheesy cliche for people like me (us?). Let Go and Let God (you should see the image floating around Pinterest with this motto). But it stops short and I so appreciate that you’ve gone deeper, God’s word has gone deeper. Because heat and wind and frigid conditions arise often and I want to be able to stand firm and breathe out “deeper still”.

  12. 13

    Deep roots! Absolutely! I don’t like surprises either, and am not really impressed with the ruts and rocks along my life path, but I trust in the strength from above, and continue to grow deeper roots. When there is a drought, the roots will go deeper to find the saving, living water.

  13. 14

    This sang to me today “That vulnerable place reminds us we have needs beyond what we manage. It reminds us we need God. Desperately. Completely.”
    I have been wondering why God wants me to be so vulnerable…and it has been so hard for me, but I am understanding now that he is teaching me something…not sure what…but I know it will make me stronger.

  14. 15

    I am a lover of surprises (and roller coasters), but not all surprises are good. This spoke to me because I need deep roots too. And when I need them, I’m surprised every time to find my roots have grown deeper.

  15. 16

    “Deep roots yield rich fruit.” Yes and amen!

  16. 17

    It’s those twists and turns that can keep life interesting, but if we have those deep roots, we can weather whatever storm comes our way.

  17. 18
    Shauna says:

    I really am ready for the feeling of suspense to be over. You k ow-when your roller coaster car is sllooowly climbing that first steep hill, and you tense up, waiting for the bottom to drop out? Yeah, THAT feeling. I know in my head that God is in control, that He designed the track, and that if I keep my hands off the seatbelt clasp, He will keep me safe. I have to learn to ride with my hands up in the air in praise, not just hanging on screaming!

  18. 19
    Jennifer B says:

    WOW this post is ON time. I have had several surprises (not fun ones) in the last three days at work that have me very stressed. Then yesterday I got a surprise about my health that has me a bit nervous. I have been feeling the anxiety rise due to these situations but reading this today, I have to will myself to go “deeper still”… I LOVE the scripture you mentioned and will surely commit it to memory! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  19. 20

    Oh my. I’m listening. This is the third blog today that I have read with this theme. Not to mention the songs on the radio that have echoed this. OK Lord. Deeper.

  20. 21
    Donna Jackson says:

    Needed this word today, need to have deep rooted faith for the season I am in. Praise God

  21. 22
    tricia says:

    Needed this, more than I can express today! These verses have been brought to my heart’s attention more and more often over the last couple of months. Obviously God is trying to teach me something!! Thankful He’s using you to reach me!! Praying for, and seeking with all my heart, these DEEP faith roots…

  22. 23

    Loved this reminder!! It so helps to remember that the twists and turns are not surprising to our God. We are going into His arms, He is already there! Blessings, Shelly <3

  23. 24
    Gwynne Grohmann says:

    Needed this so much and as usual God uses those around us to speak to us. I buried my father yesterday. Completely unexpected . Way too soon.

    “My faith doesn’t just need to grow big, it needs to grow deep. Yes, I need deep faith roots.

    Deep roots anchor us when surprises blow like strong, unruly winds.”

    My earthly father’s death reminded me that I must completely rely on my Heavenly Father. My Dad was my anchor. He was many people’s anchor. He was a community anchor.

    This post was another whisper from God today that He is my Anchor. My dad gave me a glimpse by his love and support of just how deep those roots are and how strong the anchor is when I reach for Him.

    Deep roots hold us steady during the next storm that didn’t show up on the radar.

    There will be another storm and my Dad won’t be there for me to physical reach out to. God will be.

    • 25
      Beth Williams says:

      Gwynne,

      So sorry to hear of the death of your beloved father. Death is never easy, especially an unexpected early one. May God surround you at this time.

      Father,

      Please put your loving arms around Gwynne. Help her to feel you and lean on your as her Heavenly father. Shower her with love and help her and the family to grieve their loss.

  24. 26

    Thank you all for leaving these comments. It helps to know that others are at the same place as me.

  25. 27
    Elaine B says:

    I love the way your blog points to Jesus in such a beautiful way all encompassing to every person. The encouragement to go deeper with faith in Him spoke to me. He is the anchor in all of life’s storms! Thank you!

  26. 28

    Oh, yes. Thank you, Lysa, for reminding us of the benefits of the surprises/storms of life. Praise God that, when we continually affirm our trust in him, he provides stability, nourishment, growth, and rich fruit!

  27. 29
    Beth Williams says:

    Lysa.

    You wrote a wonderfully poetic post today. I love how you take everyday topics and somehow turn them into teachings about God.

    I find that everyone needs to have deep faith for that unexpected turn or twist in life. God can help provide that deep faith by prayer and reading His word.

    It never ceases to amaze me how God can take a sudden twist or turn in life and use it to strengthen us and bring us closer to Him. It gives us a learning experience that we can use to help others who might go through the same trial.

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