Roots–The Good and the Bad

As much as I enjoy seeing color return to the landscape in spring, the surge of new life brings with it a downside called “yard work.”  Though, for me, much preferred to living and shoveling snow up north, it does take a bit of  the shine off the arrival of spring. The mowing, the weeding, the watering in the Southern summer heat are all requirements for the beautiful yard your neighbors hope you have! Why, we still honor homeowners with yard of the month where I live! Though not one of my aspirations, I would not mind being bestowed that honor.
Spring makes its first appearance in my yard in the form of weeds in the much faded flower beds. Though green, they are not desirable and often sneak in among the existing plants as if they belong. The big weed in the picture was doing its best to mimic a pansy planted in the fall.  And so it begins! As the weeds pop up, I pluck them out.  Not fun, but necessary. Most of my weed pulling is carried out after a big rain has saturated the earth, making the ground more co-operative in turning loose of the weeds, including all of the roots. The work is in vain otherwise because weeds are such a determined, unruly lot. The slightest portion of a weed left behind gives it license to reappear, and you can be sure it will.

Roots obviously have a positive connotation. The most beautiful plants, the most flourishing people, have a healthy root system because their roots grow deep into fertile soil or God enriched soil. In Ephesians 3:17, the Bible speaks of being rooted and grounded in God’s love. But then there are the bad roots. The author of a Christian book brought this to my attention. Upon reading one particular chapter, it was apparent that I was the victim of long term, broken off but not thoroughly removed roots that kept resurfacing and wreaking havoc in my Christian life.

My challenge is that you investigate your life’s root system both good and bad. With God’s help, pull any weeds of guilt, doubt, depression, self loathing, (just to name a few) up by their very roots as you fertilize your relationship with Him and hold onto His promises. This will in turn nurture healthy, deep-seated roots of the fruits of the Holy Spirit — Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Galatians 5:22) As Christians we are the proud owners of a garden bearing these fruits. They are a gift, but they do need cultivation.  As these fruits began to flourish, as their roots permeate our being, there is little room for those roots Satan has meant for evil in your life. However, when you least expect it, Satan will shoot up a weed, left from a root, a hurt, that has laid dormant for many years. Be on guard! I pray that your life will be so saturated with God’s word and His presence that you will immediately recognize that weed, see it for what it is, and immediately pluck it, up-roots and all. Happy weeding!  To God Be the Glory!

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