In 1977 the word “Roots” became a household word as people watched the book, written by Alex Haley, come to life on our TV screens. This was a story of finding family roots.
If you have a pain in one of your teeth that reacts to heat it generally means that you have an abscessed tooth, which calls for a “root canal”, a very unpleasant experience.
When there is a problem in a group or company, the leader might say, “We need to get to the “root” of the problem.
I have two beautiful Rose of Sharon bushes that have grown so tall I can see them from my second story window. The bush that bears the white blossoms was standing tall and straight along with the purple one, then we had several days of rain and it suddenly bent over, it’s proud branches curving back down toward the ground. Every time I drove in or out of my garage, the branches would rub along the side of my car. One day, while my house was in chaos, I decided to go outside and see if I could discover what was wrong. What I found was that a vine had taken over the bush in a manner that I couldn’t see because it was hidden among the leafy branches. Strong, choking vines disguised as tiny tendrils had climbed up the length of the tall bush and wrapping around the main branch pulled this grand bush to the ground. Armed with my pruning scissors I attacked the vine. I pulled and cut while getting stuck by the tiny thorns on the vine, trying to free this beautiful bush from the grasp of this strangling vine, and then I began the search for the root! Without taking this parasite out by the root it would simply come back to rule another day, success! I found it and severed it completely. As soon as I had freed the branches finally releasing it from the grasp of the vine, the bush just looked happy and relieved to breath freely once more.
In our life we let things pull us down and over in just the same way. Things that look deceivingly small and harmless wind around our soul until we cannot breathe in the life and sunshine of the Holy Spirit, we fall over, unable to stand.
Hebrews 12:12-15 So don’t sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet! Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it! Work at getting along with each other and with God. Otherwise you’ll never get so much as a glimpse of God. Make sure no one gets left out of God’s generosity. Keep a sharp eye out for weeds of bitter discontent. *KJV says “root of bitterness” A thistle or two gone to seed can ruin a whole garden in no time. Watch out for the Esau syndrome: trading away God’s lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite. You well know how Esau later regretted that impulsive act and wanted God’s blessing—but by then it was too late, tears or no tears. There would be no way to go out and cut down a giant oak tree with my little pruning scissors, but today I cut down three of them that had taken root in the area I was working! If I hadn’t taken them down they would have grown right down into my septic tank because they were directly over it!
The time to stop “roots” in your life is when they are small and easily destroyed, whether it is bitterness, hatred, or laziness so you can pump up your spiritual life in prayer and study, before you are choked to death. Song of Solomon 2:15 Take us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.
Don’t let yourself be deceived, cut yourself free with the sword of the Word of God!