"Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled." Hebrews 12: 15
My backyard was my oasis - a place hidden from the hustle of the city. Within the fenced walls, the sound of a cascading fountain compelled me further along the red stone walkway. The fragrance of yellow mums, purple, pink pansies tickled my nose - especially the lilacs. In the corner, a canopied swing sat. There I took my afternoon naps. Beautiful and calming was my hideaway.
With that hideaway, Jesus taught me a valuable lesson about bitter roots. For several days, I noticed tiny green weeds growing between the cracks in the walkway stones. Choosing to ignore those weeds, I continued to enjoy my hideaway. However, there it was again, that nagging small voice, "Deal with those roots!" Day after day, I ignored that nagging voice, "Deal with it! NOW!"
Because of my inaction, those weeds stood ten inches tall. This tall problem covered my walkway and choked my flowers. There it was again, that nagging voice, "Time to deal with those weeds." No denying this problem - time for some action.
On my hands and knees, with a tight pinch and a twist, the tiny weeds vacated the cracks. However, those tall weeds were a different story. Tugging and twisting, tugging and twisting, tugging and twisting, finally one headless weed. Deep in the earth sat the remaining root. Time for a sharp knife. Digging and cutting, digging and cutting, that root finally dislodged from its earthly home.
Because of my difficult upbringing, a fatherly abandonment and lack of parental direction, I developed tiny bitter memories. With my inaction those tiny bitter memories rooted and grew. I lived with those bitter roots for fifty years. Their tentacles spread to every area of my heart - words, thoughts, actions, all affected by bitterness.
Like my garden adventure, the cutting edge of scripture - sharper than a double edge sword (Hebrews 4:12)- slowly and painfully removed the bitterness from my heart. If you noticed tiny bitter roots developing in your heart, quickly deal with them.