For there is hope for a tree, when it is cut down, that it will sprout again, And its shoots will not fail. Though its roots grow old in the ground and its stump dies in the dry soil, at the scent of water it will flourish and put forth sprigs like a plant. Job 14:7-9
Birch trees not only offer curb appeal but they have many useful purposes. The bark has been used to treat various skin rashes as well as make casts for broken bones. Different parts of birch are used in the production of soaps and shampoos. And, birch sap can be made into syrup to be used on food.
I looked up these fun facts after I was told the birch tree that was planted in my yard needed to be cut down. Because it was so close to my home, the roots were growing underneath it. If I didn’t chop it down, the foundation of my home would suffer severe consequences. Though a tree like this could offer many beneficial qualities, in this case, it was causing more harm than good.
As we pulled into our driveway last week, we came home to a knee length stump where the tree once stood. My nine year old, with all his wisdom, said: “Mommy, if the roots are already under the house, can they still hurt it?” “Hopefully, we caught it in time to stop any damage, but we’ll have to make sure the roots are dead too,” I said.
Our lives can be a lot like this. Beautiful and seemingly purposeful on the outside but rooted in sin underneath. We Jesus lovers want to please Him. But, the temptation of the flesh is always fighting to put forth sprigs and grow. Those of us who find ourselves planted with roots of deceit, doubt or distress know it most likely did not happen overnight. The enemy masquerades his schemes as harmless. He seduces us with conniving tactics:
- Excusing office gossip as fellowship.
- Turning a hard work week into a reason to party.
- Playing house with our boyfriend/girlfriend before saying vows.
What may seem like innocent fun, overtime, is the seed that will eventually damage what we thought was a solid bedrock of faith. A sparingly checked heart creates a massively strong root of unrighteousness. To make sure our infrastructure is that of vitality and not destruction requires us to examine its origins every day. Morning by morning, destroy wicked thoughts, turn from selfish ways, take up your cross daily and follow Him. (Luke 9:23).
In the same way there is hope for a cut down tree, there is hope for us. Our key verse says it will flourish at the very scent of water. For those who believe in Jesus, rivers of water flow from within us. Can you visualize what happens when you drink it, daily?