Rooted in God’s Word: Richard’s Story

By Jeff Bulthuis

April 20, 2021

Throughout April, we’ve been exploring the important role of trees in Scripture. I think you’ll see, especially in the upcoming devotions, one important word that trees help us consider.

That word is “rootedness.”

For a man named Richard, his rootedness in Christ ultimately saved his life, even though he had grown away from those roots.

Richard and his four siblings attended Christian schools and were active members of their local church. He also listened to The Back to God Hour, a radio program produced by the publisher of Today, which has since been reformatted as our sister ministry, Groundwork.

This time of spiritual reflection while studying God’s Word became another important way that his parents nurtured Richard and his four siblings in their faith.

When Richard was a teenager, he began to grow away from his roots and start down a destructive path of alcohol addiction. By age 30, his alcoholism regularly caused him to consider ending his own life.

Remembering Roots

God called Richard back to his roots through the example set by both his grandparents and parents.

“At that time in my life, I had left God,” Richard said. “But God stuck with me. He made it clear that I needed to get well.”

Deep in his depression and alcoholism, Richard regularly thought of the lessons from Scripture his family had passed down to him.

Last month, Richard celebrated 48 years of sobriety, and he gives all the credit to God.

“God stuck with me,” Richard said. “I saw a lot of struggles in my own life and in my parent’s life, but I’ve also seen God’s faithfulness in those times.”

Daily Meditations in Scripture

Today Richard remembers his roots every day during his devotion time. As he reads Scripture, he sits on a church pew in his home that was originally located in the church where he and the three generations before him were baptized.

Richard encourages all Today readers like you to look to God’s Word in your own times of need.

“If you search Scripture, your answer will come,” Richard added. “It can be easy to back down, but Jesus died on the cross for people like myself. I’ve been blessed, so I bless others, and that’s part of my heritage.”

How has Today kept you rooted in God’s Word? We’d love to hear your story! Share your story on this page.

About the author — Jeff Bulthuis

Jeff has a B.A. in Psychology from Covenant College and an M.Div. from Calvin Theological Seminary. Jeff and his wife, Lisa, have five young children. They enjoy camping, spending time outdoors, and cheering on Chicago sports teams.

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