Tuesday, April 17, 2012

rooting out evil

Did I write this post before?  I might have.  I'm too lazy to check.  However, I will write it just the same.  Perhaps something new will come out of it. 

I have been pulling up weeds in parts of our front yard to do small amounts of landscaping.  To be able to plant a few hostas, some serious pulling and digging needed to be done.  I love this work.  It is good for body and mind and soul.  As I use muscles that I don't normally use to lift heavy babies to free strange vines out of my ground, I ponder those verses that talk about the rooting out of evil. 

"Beware lest there be amoung you a root bearing poisonous and bitter fruit, one who, when he hears the words of this sworn covenant, blesses himself in his heart, saying, 'I shall be safe, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart.'           Deuteronomy 29:18-19

"For behold, the day is coming urning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble.  the day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch."                        Malachi 4:1

Some of those strange plants have roots that have had ample opportunity to sink in deep.  They were allowed to grow and grow.  Thicker and thicker they became.  Rooting out evil and sin in our lives, sometimes requires some heavy digging.  Thankfully, there are some weeds that we pull soon enough that it comes up easily.  Hardly any toil or sweat to rake the ground free.  Yet, the others that were allowed to grow too long will cling tightly to the underground.  These are sins in our lives that we might not even realize when it started.  Of course, you could just cut it off at the top and give all appearances of its absence.  But it is there.  Growing.  Alive.  It is still affecting other areas of your garden.  Other beautiful plants are struggling to survive because that "invisible" weed is stealing its nutrients in order for it to grow more powerful.  To really rid your garden (are you getting that this is your life in this analogy, yet?  good.) of this power-hungry entity, it must be "rooted out".  How?  Digging deep.  It is laborious to dig deep into our lives to find the sin at its root.  Unlike weeding a garden, rooting sin in our lives takes courage.  We are so often afraid of what lies deep within those roots.  We are afraid to see the monster below.  We are afraid that we are unable to kill it.  I have had clients quit for fear of what they would find if they actually explored a particular area of their life.  I, myself, have shied away from "going there" with others for fear that I might not recover.  We all have turned blind eyes to the monsters below.  We all find our own distractions from uncovering those ugly roots.  Whether it is obsessing over other people's roots, drinking to ease the fear of the roots, avoiding anything root-related, it still looms and grows larger. 

I work in the garden and contemplate how my own issues are rooted out.  It is therapeutic to pull those roots and imagine them as my own healing and restoration to the person I was intended to be.  But can I possibly remove my own roots?  Well, I am definitely a part of that process.  Our Lord finds it in His good wisdom to allow our participation in these arduous tasks but the work is really His.  He is the gardener and we are the apprentice.  We learn about the rooting concept by watching our Mentor work the garden in our lives.   We read about His work in the garden of Peter, Paul, Mary Magdelene, and John.  We relate--most of us have experienced that kind of weeding in our garden.  It hurts but the results are glorious. 

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