To my pride, this week I backpacked 25 miles of Adirondack mountain terrain in three days, including 2 High Peaks: Mt. Colden and Mt. Skylight.

To my shame, I feel more sore than I have ever been in my life. To quote E.T., “Ouuuch.”

While hiking, I noticed I was walking over an exorbitant amount of exposed tree trunk roots. Colossal ones. Holding giant tress to the sides of sheer-rock faces, buffeted by high winds nearly all year long.

When people walk on your exposed roots, do you flinch?

Is your growth altered?

Do you wince?

Better still, do you stop growing altogether?

While these exposed roots are there for a reason, they aren’t the ones that count. I have a number of beliefs, philosophies, ideas, and opinions that people can step on, disagree with, and even cut at. But they don’t move me. Its the roots you don’t see–the deep ones–that hold me to the mountain. And those are settled.



You want to access those, and you’ll have to kill the tree.

(Good luck hauling up the stump).

Q: What are your most sensitive roots? And are they easily accessible or hard to reach?



David · 25 Jun ’10 at 1:35 am

My most sensitive roots intertwine with each other. Self-esteem,confidence and assurance with Christ. Currently, and often in the past, these roots have been easily accessible. They are exposed and they embarrass me and male me feel weak, crazy, stressed and afraid at times. I do recall times in my life however where these roots that I speak of were deeply rooted and well-planted. They were strong and it seemed like nothing could pukk then up. I would love to plant my roots deep again and make sure they stay deeply rooted. I need divine help and christian brotherly love. I need prayer and I need to be patient. My roots seem to have no hope, and no solution to put them back sturdy in the ground at this time. I’m just waiting on the Lord and I’m trying to stop doubting and just believe and trust but for me why is it so hard?

    Christopher Hopper · 25 Jun ’10 at 8:30 am

    David, thanks for opening up bro. Appreciate you. And I will (and have already started) praying for you.

    I’m not a botanist, and my garden will certainly attest to that fact, but I do know a little about plants. And it’s extremely interesting that the very soil that we are often asked to grow in is the very same soil we are asked to re-grow in.

    Most Christians, I find, are hurt by other Christians. Not unbelievers (though that happens). The “church” is a common culprit. Yet it’s in the Church that I personally found re-generation after being uprooted. What hurt me is also what eventually healed me.

    That Christian brotherly love, slow and patient, is available, and I’ll be praying it comes in just the forms you need.

    Though it might seem impossible, hard, or painful, putting down new roots is in your future. And no need to worry about assurance on Christ; He’s quite assured of you.

    The scripture God gave me for you this morning: John 12:24 – “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”


Billy.J · 25 Jun ’10 at 6:13 am

Man are you good at these posts. Great questions, as well as a great analogy. My roots, especially at this time in life, seem to be stepped on and pierced almost daily. I think my analogy of the day is that my roots are still thickening, still digging deeper into the Father’s Embrace. And while my outer ‘roots’ are attacked by the people who I thought were friends, my inner ones dig deeper, and deeper into the dirt. Thanks for the great post, believe it or not, this almost directly applies to a trial I’m going through. God bless man,

Billy .J

    Christopher Hopper · 25 Jun ’10 at 8:35 am

    Thanks for your kind words, Billy. And you’re most welcome. It’s an honor to post things that are of value to people.

    Trust is an interesting thing; easily given, but once mistreated, hard to give again.

    The amazing thing about Jesus is that he doesn’t have contractual relationships with us–meaning, as long as you hold up your end of the agreement, He’ll hold up His. But once you break it, all bets are off.

    No, He has covenant relationships with us–He’s already accounted for our future ability to fail Him, and keeps loving us.

    Interestingly enough, this is the same exact agape love that we are called to love people with. We account for their future ability to fail us, discourage us, and hurt us. And we forgive them, in advance. Sure, easier said than done. But that’s why you’re supposed to love with the Holy Spirit’s power, not your own. It’s a choice, not an emotion. And He shows up the moment we make that choice.

    Praying for strength in your roots bro! ch:

      Billy.J · 25 Jun ’10 at 9:51 am

      Thanks man. Means a lot. Just gotta keep trusting God to work things out. I’m always trying to take matters into my own, sinful hands. And that’s where pride will surface. I’ll think that its unfair that life stinks. That I deserve to be the highlight of everyone’s attention, and that not even God can give me what I want. (Sigh) being a teen is harder than it sounds in childhood. But its also more amazing than I imagined. I have grown more mature in manhood, and as a Christian in these last two or so years than in my entire life. But, with parents as great as mine and friends as great as you and your family, I always find the Light in the darkness. Thanks again for the prayer and encouragement. Much love,

      Billy. J

      Rebekah Berthet · 26 Jun ’10 at 1:56 am

      This is good stuff CH!

      “Trust is an interesting thing; easily given, but once mistreated, hard to give again.”
      “Interestingly enough, this is the same exact agape love that we are called to love people with. We account for their future ability to fail us, discourage us, and hurt us. And we forgive them, in advance. Sure, easier said than done. But that’s why you’re supposed to love with the Holy Spirit’s power, not your own. It’s a choice, not an emotion. And He shows up the moment we make that choice.”

      If you wrote one of those “Christianese” books, I’d read it.
      Seriously, I’d glad you expounded on what you tweeted the other day in response to my rambling about trusting. I’ve been hurt by the church just a few times in my life so far, and it’s hard. I don’t think I’m at all to the point where I am accounting for their future ability to hurt me, but at least my brain is on that track. Still hard though..


kathy · 25 Jun ’10 at 10:25 am

i am astonded at the fact that my roots are so exposed on a daily basis since i have been a christain for many years , what i really want is to be immovable fixed and grounded with deep roots to sustain me but the challenges in my life always up root me over and over again and my frustration is will i ever attain the promises of god in my life since i cant even faithfully stand and the roots seem like huge mountains , anger, fear, strive envy they are stongholds in my life and though i lay them down over and over the roots of them are deeper for some reason. thank you for this post it spoke volumes to me . but i need to know how to attain this goal , not just hope it happens some day.

reenie · 25 Jun ’10 at 6:17 pm

Many of our roots are dead, sad, but true they don’t reach water sources, they tangel in on themselves – often THESE are the very roots that pop up above ground……and because they don’t reach WATER, the living water, it is easy to get offended when someone inadvertantly steps on them .”Hey man, watch my roots – you just stepped on me …or at least it sure did LOOK like you did……” When we become easily offended we miss the fact that the root is dead………wouldn’t it be lovely if our exposed roots were noted as our weakness , and then made strong by HIS horticultured hands , the dead parts cut out and untangeled by the snares of life – oooo how much more water would we get ? How deep would our root system go , and more importantly the Fruit would be more productive because the root system is healthy and strong….. jut a thought – BTW loved yours !!!!

Beth · 25 Jun ’10 at 7:33 pm

I have been thinking about this all day. I wish some of my roots were deeper than others. To think of the roots are deep kinda scares me. How ironic that fear would be one of them. Fear is probably the biggest deepest one, because it covers so many things.I want to do more for Christ, but I always think I am not good enough. My fear of the future is way to deep, I really need to stop worrying about that. My faith is deep, yet seems to get exposed when fear tries to get deeper. Sometimes I get frustrated with myself, I guess it could also be a pride issue. This post really made me think and challenged me to dig deeper in the Word cause in reality its the only way to deepen the roots that need to be deepened and also get rid of the roots that are in to deep.

Mom honee · 25 Jun ’10 at 9:10 pm

Beautiful reflection eye still healing here typing to u on I Touch in LNzing blessings on all who hiked much love xoxo in Lansing

Amanda House · 26 Jun ’10 at 2:13 pm

I was reflecting on this today and slightly saddened at how people’s corrections can undo me. It’s been a frustrating couple of weeks trying to get used to new expectations at work and I often feel like I’m failing. This feeling can trickle over into other areas as well, yet I know that the Lord has placed me where I am because He wants to do great things. I often resignate with the verse, “He has used the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” 1 Cor 1:27. I’m pretty sure that is an exposed root and I’m seeking my worth and strength from somewhere else other than what is eternal. I know where my deep roots are planted, but I unfortunately am deceived that the exposed areas have more power to bring me down rather than the power of Christ to bring me up. Praying for light to expose this place.

Jennifer Hopper · 27 Jun ’10 at 9:03 am

Excellent post! You’re my favorite.

Christopher Hopper · 30 Jun ’10 at 9:57 pm

Thanks for bearing your roots with us all! I’ve been praying for each of you while on the road. I so appreciate you responding to this subject; seems we all have various roots that get stepped on, and likewise need some TLC, some pruning, and some, just the old axe. ch:

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