In the last devotion, I told how, as a young girl, I loved to be free to “explore” our big empty church building when my mother would go there to prepare music for the Sunday service. How I loved that place! It felt like “home” to me—only more exciting!

I feel that exploring my church as a child helped to establish my young faith. Venturing into my Sunday School classroom, I would stare at the picture of “Jesus, the Good Shepherd.” I learned to picture Jesus that way when I prayed. I loved to bury my hands in the big green washtub of cool sand that my teacher used as a foundation for her stand-up Bible story figures. I studied the framed collage of old photographs, taken of the church when it was built, and of the early church people—many of whom were members of MY own family. To some, these were just old photos—but to me, these were my “roots.” My FAITH’s roots.

How long has it been since you revisited where YOUR faith began? What did your Sunday School teachers instill in you? Can you still recall Bible verses you learned as a child? … can you remember songs you used to sing that made your heart happy? When did you first feel—or KNOW—that Jesus loved YOU? How did your life change when you knew your sins were forgiven? … when the Holy Ghost first flooded your soul? Perhaps your roots of faith don’t go all the way back to when you were a child—but you can still trace those roots to where your faith began.

 “And he shall be like a tree planted …”  (Psalm 1:3 KJV)

Every tree is constantly changing, with branches, leaves, and fruit—all growing, sprouting, producing, and falling away—season after season. But the roots of the tree are not seasonal; they stay the same. Branches and leaves can be shifted by a whisper of wind, but the roots don’t move. They determine the stability of the tree, even through the storms and seasons.

This is particularly true when it comes to the roots of our FAITH. Seasons come and go, and we are forced to make changes in all aspects of our lives. But our roots—our roots of FAITH—need never change; only to grow deeper, wider, and stronger. Growing comes by continually revisiting our faith roots—remembering what we’ve learned and reinforcing what we KNOW.

How does exploring our roots stabilize our life? “It impacts our PAST because it helps us understand where we came from and how we developed into the person we are now; it affects our PRESENT life because it helps us remember what is truly valuable; and it influences our FUTURE because it helps us to determine what path to take to achieve the desired result and to avoid repeating mistakes.” (Dr. Michelle Bengston)

Prayer: Dear LORD, I love going back in my memory and exploring where my faith began. Since I was small, You’ve gently led me, held me, and carried me. Even before I knew you, You knew me—and loved me. Thank You for teaching me to “seek You early” for that has proved to be a stable foundation for my whole life. Amen.


Barbara Hilderbrand and husband, Derrald, live in Wausau, Wisconsin. They’ve served in various ministerial roles within the UPCI over the past fifty years – pastoring in Illinois, Alaska, Wisconsin, and Global Missions’ Europe/ME region. Barb also served in Ladies Ministries in Alaska and Wisconsin. They now eagerly await their next assignment and/or the NEXT stamp on their passports. She also posts devotions and articles regularly on her website:

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