IDENTIFYING AND UPROOTING
We all have a root or even multiple roots. The crazy part is so many us get frustrated with ourselves in how we react and how we behave, but then we don’t time to backtrack and ask the Lord to show us where it all began. So many of us don’t understand why we do some of the things we don’t want to do. Why certain responses set something off inside our souls. Why some words that seem so small hurt so deeply. Why we run towards things that we know aren’t good for us. You know who understood this? Paul.
15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
Yes! These words are actually in the Bible. There are humans who struggled with the same things you and I struggle with. Paul writes, “For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.” Talk about relatable. There are many habits you and I carry in which we don’t necessarily like. There are ways you and I react in which we know are not holy. There are mindsets you and I have in which we know are not beneficial for us. There are things instilled in our human nature in which we do not have the ability to carry out what is right. Which is one of the reasons why there is such a need for God and his grace in humanity. There is a God who is bold and who is big. A God who is sitting on the edge of his seat waiting for us to open our hands and simply say, “I need you, God.” That is his joy. Helping our frail human hearts and eyes see our roots. All for the purpose of allowing our human heart to see him a little bit more.
For me, if I can be very honest, let me tell you about when I was younger and had Field Trips. Any Field Trip that came up, I still remember that seven year old girl with bouncy brown curls going up to my mom and batting those eyes asking if she would come with me. And every time, I remember there being something else. In my little mind, I took her not ever coming with me as her not wanting to spend time with me with the things I enjoyed. And that led me to wonder if the things I enjoyed were not good enough for people. This is not a bash on my mother by any means. Every individual has areas in their lives where they were hurt by their parents. Why? Because we are all human. You and I ought to give more grace to our parents. They are human, too. Just like you and I, they didn’t always get it right.
I realized when I was twenty year old, that my whole life I grew up hiding the things I was interested in from people because I didn’t want people to not want to hang out with me. I would get my favorite book and literally drive to places that were secluded so I wouldn’t see anyone I knew while I was reading. Because in my mind, I allowed the enemy to feed it with thoughts like “What kind of loser likes reading?” Those thoughts were my reality. If we aren’t careful, we can master the art doing things we love by ourselves and build a wall so high that it would be impossible for someone to join even if they wanted to.
In the season where we had to put my brother into the Program, my home was a broken home. My parents attention was fully on him, which looking back it needed to be, but in my twelve year old mind all I could comprehend was irrelevancy and rejection. I felt pushed to the side, so the first boy I met who showed deep interest in me, I grabbed onto it for dear life (I’ll get to that later). Because we are human and we all crave acceptance.
What’s your root? Maybe it’s the way your mom or dad wasn’t there for you the way you wanted them to be. Maybe it’s a sibling who treated you like dirt, or who was always in the spotlight while you were left in the dust. Maybe it’s from kids in elementary school not included you in recess. Maybe it’s from a family member, or friend. Maybe it’s from a Pastor. Ouch. That’s a really real one, too. The thing about roots is they are often formed from experiences that were out of our control. There was not anyway to prevent the way that someone rejected us, and there was not anything we could do about the actions of others. We cannot prevent the actions of others but we can control our responses. Though the way the root was created is out of our control, the way we go back and shed light on the root is our choice.
I don’t know what your root may be, but ask the Lord to show you. One thing that I have learned is that the Lord will not ever reveal something that He does not intend to heal. What is was, does not always have to be. Be bold. Ask God with an expectancy to show you. No more cycles. No more acting out of character. Let’s tell these walls, “Sorry, but you can’t stay up anymore.”