I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. (Eph. 3:17–18)

WHEN YOU LOOK AT A GROVE of aspen trees, you’re really only looking at one tree. Somewhere in that collection is a “core tree” whose root system has sprouted other “trees” in the area. You would be amazed at the breadth and depth of these root systems, hidden under the soil, spreading out for miles and miles. Because of their shared root system, what affects one tree will affect all of them. After a forest fire, the aspen trees are the first to grow back because the root system is usually untouched by the flames.

Paul wanted the Ephesians to be rooted deeply in their faith together so when trials came, they would be able to face them together. This is the power of the body of Christ. When one member suffers, we all hurt. When one member rejoices, we all celebrate. This is how God has designed us to work together as a group of believers—like a grove of aspens, all sharing the same root system, leading us back to the “core tree,” who is none other than Jesus Christ himself.

God is able to do far beyond all we could ask or even imagine. As we move forward in advancing God’s kingdom together, let’s not be shy in our requests to God. He expects to accomplish great things through all of us, again, working together.

Imagine how the body of Christ could suffer if you were to not fulfill your God-given role in the kingdom.

Doug Schmidt is a freelance writer and editor and is on staff with his church as a small-groups coach.