At times when I get stressed, I go on cleaning and purging rampages. In this particular case it was therapuetic weed-pulling. Yank, yank, yank. One at a time. I was proud of my diligence, and determined to purge the weeds overtaking a place they simply didn't belong. When are weeds ever really welcome anyway?!
Usually the overgrown weeds are whacked with a weed-eater. Repeated, countless times. Hack away and they disappear...at least for a week until they start to resurface again.
There were a few times I grabbed a blade or two only to rip them from their root, leaving an unseen portion behind. Not satisfied I went at it with more vigor. How much strength must one exert to be rid of weeds?! I was about to find out...
I grabbed a handful and wiggled them free from the surrounding sand and dirt. Then I pulled...and pulled...and pulled. A bunch of weeds standing only 3" high revealed a twisted and intricate root system nearly double in size.
But since they don't have deep roots, they don't last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God's word. ~ Matthew 13:21
No matter how many times the weed whacker decimated those weeds, they were not permanently removed because there was a growing, thriving root system deep within. Those weeds, wanted or not, would continue to grow and return because of what had taken root underneath the surface.
Okay, understood. That without a root system cannot survive. That with roots will continue to grow. So the next question to ask is what lies within the root system?
See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. ~ Hebrews 12:15
If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches. ~ Romans 11:16
I've got some weeds that need to be pulled. Not just hacked off at the base but yanked from their resting place, that which cannot be seen deep under the surface. These are the roots that need to be dealt with, removed, and purged. Roots so deep and twisted they cause trouble and infiltrate the soil and prevent good growth.
I've also got some branches that need to be firmly planted. This isn't about just digging a little hole and hoping for the best. This is about preparing the ground, removing the weeds, and fostering a place of growth. I must provide constant care and attention, tending the soil and nurturing a place for a holy root to grow and produce righteous branches.
Maybe you need to do a little weeding. Maybe you need to do a little planting. Maybe you need to do some of both. I'll meet you outside. I've got some gardening of my own to do!