It’s times like these when I find myself rooting deeper into God. While, personally, I’m really enjoying this COVID-19 lock-down, I know many others are having an intensely difficult time. As I coach my clients, I hear stories of suffering, fear, confusion and anger. Some feel lost, adrift in a sea without end, others feel angry, cursing at a God they don’t understand.
As a young child, when I got scared or felt unsafe (which was quite often), I would count my fingers silently in my head, moving each finger slightly, consecutively, and counting as high as I needed until I felt better. I became so good at doing it, no one could tell, but if you watched closely, you might suspect I was playing an air piano. I didn’t know back then, but there’s a scientific name for this behavior. It’s called “stimming,” short for self-stimulatory behavior. You might recognize this most in a person with autism, who flaps their hands, rocks back and forth or repeats phrases over and over.
I’m not autistic, but I have the same God flowing through me that autistic people have, and He gave us the same instinctive ability to calm ourselves down on our own when needed.
No one taught me how to do it and I don’t remember the first time I did it. It was just something I instinctively did as a child when I was scared. Every time I counted my fingers, I felt not-so-alone, as if someone, somewhere, was also counting with me. As long as I was counting, I was safe, I thought. And moving my fingers helped me solidify it in my body and being. It somehow made it real, not just a concept in my head.
Now I know that it was God who showed me what to do. It was God who eased this little girl’s fears and counted with her when she felt alone and afraid.
He was showing me how to root myself in Him.
What does it mean to root yourself in God?
Like a tree, the roots provide nourishment, strength and support.
Imagine a tree with little to no roots, and imagine one with deep, widespread roots.
Which one seems stronger, more stable, like it can withstand heavy winds and storms?
I learned my first important lessons as a child, when counting, that I would carry with me throughout my life and help me during difficult times.
- God is always there, even when I didn’t know it.
- God doesn’t take away the storms, He helps you through them.
- Root yourself in God and the storms won’t break you.
In these uncertain, stormy times of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to root yourself in God.
A simple way is to stand up tall, plant both feet firmly on the ground and imagine roots growing out of your feet and down, deep into the earth, absorbing its nutrients, power and strength that travels back up into your body and being. Our Lord created the earth, after all, and it’s a part of Him as are we.
If you have a tree in your yard, take a few moments to sit under it, breathe the same air the tree breathes, get quiet and sense the underlying life, wisdom and strength in it.
Like the tree, root yourself in God and know that all is really, truly well.