Posts Tagged ‘Heartache’

We purchased a home in Texas where four pear trees stood like sentinels between the sidewalk and the road. It was September and the trees had pears on them. Mmm, I could taste the soon-to-be pear preserves. There was not an abundant harvest that year, but the trees were young and there would always be next year.

The following spring there were few buds and the sprouting leaves unfurled to reveal withered, yellow-brown ones instead of the expected abundance of spring green.

Being city folks we checked with a neighbor. He suspected root knot and said the only choice was to cut them down and dig up the trunks and roots. Sure enough, his diagnosis was correct. The roots were knotted and dying.

Growing trees in Texas is a challenge. It takes a hardy tree to withstand our heat and long dry spells and the belligerent soil was certainly no help. The ground turns to mush after a good rain, then hard as rock the day after. And, then it dries up, cracks open, leaving bottomless craters in the landscape.

With this wild fluctuation, roots can’t form the necessary network to support the weight of the tree. Like our pear trees, if roots aren’t healthy, the tree will die.

But isn’t that true with of all of us? When my foundation isn’t strong and healthy in the Lord, my roots aren’t able to support and sustain me during the storms of life. I will be like a tree, twisted and broken, possibly uprooted when winds begin to blow.

Many of us travel through life with root-knotted hearts caused by unresolved abuse, injury or grief.  Pain of fear and loneliness that has pressed down on us, layer upon layer for years. Pain of guilt sequestered in dark corners of our hearts. Pain of anger left to fester and seep poison into every area of our lives and relationships.

Unlike root-knotted trees, root-knotted hearts can be healed. The Lord created our hearts for eternity. He alone can cure the diseases we bury deep inside. But we must expose each one of them to the brilliant light and healing balm of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Word of God will be the water, the fertilizer, and the stimulator that encourages new roots to develop and grow. God stimulated roots that will anchor us in the flowing river of His love. Strong roots that will carry His healing power to transform our hearts.

I know well the misery of famished roots, stunted growth, slow death. For much of my life there were gnarled layers of anger and anguish lurking in the dark chambers of my heart. Scarred roots entombed in my subconscious.

Until the moment of my daughter’s death.

My heart exploded like a shaken-up can of soda pop. Those acid strings of heartache and turmoil I had stifled so many years ago now resurrected the ghosts of injuries past—abuse by an uncle in my childhood, lies, unrealistic expectations, verbal and emotional abuse from a spouse, divorce, four deaths in three years—all beyond my ability to deal with. The abuses and sorrows trampled over me and I had no strength to shove them back into the crevices where I’d kept them hidden for more than forty years.

They had to be dug-up, one infected root at a time. Just like I had to dig up those pear trees. The good news for me—Jesus will not throw me on the trash heap like I threw those trees, nor does He play the three strikes—you’re out game. No. He tells me to bring my anguish and afflictions to Him, with open hands, and leave them there. On the altar. In the care of my loving and righteous and just God who will deal with the pain, with the cause, and with me in a loving, righteous, and just manner. Then He will wash me and fill me with His joy. His hope.

I encourage you to ask the Spirit of God to bring to your mind those debilitating wounds tucked into the hidden hide-outs of your heart so that you can surrender every heartache and shame to the One who created you, loves you, and longs to heal you.

            “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (Psalm 1:1-3 KJ).



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