when the tenacious life-sucking untruth root gets exposed

My garden didn’t produce well last year. The tomatoes were spindly, the beans took their own sweet time to get growing, and the squash had a very poor showing. I chalked it up to a lack of nutrients in the soil, and added a load of compost in the fall.

Spring came, and I began to prepare the garden for planting. I turned over the soil, making sure the compost trickled down deep into the bottom half of the raised bed. Suddenly my spade caught on something. I dug down with my hands to inspect, and found an inch-thick root running the length of my garden bed. Poplars. As I followed it along, I discovered that this poplar root had made itself a cozy home exactly in the spot where my plants and fertilizer had been placed for the past six summers. Eight feet of nutrient-sucking poplar root. 

I hacked, I dug, I groaned and stained my hands brown as I struggled to uproot this tenacious opportunist. Determined to remove as much root as I could, I continued around the bed, finding more roots. Some sections were as thick as tree branches, some insidiously slim with tiny grasping tentacles burrowed deep into the garden. My back ached, my hands blistered, dirt filled my boots as I dug, tore, twisted, and cajoled the roots out of my soil.

A few years ago I went through a similar experience, only this time it was God working in my heart. Rather than a single hour of work, it took a four day retreat away from my family, seeking the Spirit and allowing him to work in my life.

God began to prepare my heart for planting. He turned over the soil, making sure his Word was trickling down deep into my heart. But suddenly his spade caught on something. He dug down with his hands to inspect, and found a root of untruth living in my life, a root that had spent decades making itself a cozy home exactly in the spot where God was trying to cultivate faith. Tenacious, life-sucking untruth root. 

He hacked with the Sword of the Spirit, he dug with his gentle hands, he groaned and stained his hands red as he began to uproot this tenacious opportunist. Determined to remove as must root as he could, he continued around my heart, finding more lies, more sin. Some were as thick as tree branches, some more insidiously slim with tiny grasping tentacles burrowed deep into my heart. His back was bruised, his hands pierced, and he leaned down to wash my feet as he dug, tore, hacked, and cajoled the lies and sin out of my heart.

My life was only producing minimally, and now I knew why. No matter how much goodness God poured into me, it was stolen away by the lies and sin that had lived, hidden inside my heart.

The poplar tree is still growing on the other side of my back fence. Its roots will tenaciously grow again toward my garden, because my garden is a place where the soil is cultivated and nourished. Likewise, the lies and sin are still on the outside of my heart. Their roots will tenaciously grow again toward me, because my heart is a place that is cultivated and nourished.

Only by persistent, annual digging up of the garden will I be able to keep the poplar roots at bay.

And only by the grace of my heavenly Gardener continuing his work in my life will the lies and sin remain at bay.

“He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 1:16

(PS Want to read more? Here’s a post of mine about learning to communicate with God!)

4 responses to “when the tenacious life-sucking untruth root gets exposed

  1. I love this comparison Christie! It is so true that the nourishment needs to burrow deep…and even then can be sapped away by a myriad of cares…sighs…some days it is just exhausting, pulling up those roots and hacking them off. Thank God for His strength!

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  2. Pingback: When the flames made the impossible jump over the river | Wise For Salvation·

  3. 💖This was so insightful, I loved the visual example of your garden with the roots and how that compares to the hidden roots of sin within us. I’m thankful that GOD will reveal, dig, prune, and take out all the sinful roots from inside me continually. I appreciated this Christy💖

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