Banana trees are persistent. You chop them down only for them to grow back again.
For the last two weeks we have been trying to clear the banana trees out back at the center. I dig them up until all I see is mud and dirt, assuming the tree no longer remains. Then the next day when I walk out back they are there again growing up through rocks, weeds, trash, tree stumps. These trees are relentless!
A few days ago I realized I was digging up the tree but I was not uprooting it completely. The roots were still there, deeply rooted in the ground. Because the roots were still there, every day the tree was continuing to reproduce and grow back.
As I realized this and saw the need to dig deeper and completely rid the ground of the tree and roots I couldn’t help but relate it to our lives.
We have a lot of junk in our lives. Past hurt. Failure. Lies we keep telling ourselves. Shame. Murder. Idolatry. Guilt. Sin.
Junk we need to be redeemed and freed from. Things that are blocking us from fully experiencing God and all he has for us.
We recognize this sin because it is big, tall, and obviously in the way. So we let God do his thing and start chopping it down. It hurts to let go of but we walk in obedience and let God bring the healing we long for.
The weight has been lifted. Through God’s grace we can experience peace. The tree is no longer in the way.
Time passes and the sin begins growing back. Breaking through the surface and trying to destroy you again.
You think God has already cut this out of your life and you don’t understand why it’s back.
But you know you don’t want it. So you let God chop away again. You just don’t let him chop too close. You don’t let him dig too deep. You let him cleanse you to an extent but you don’t let him dig where it hurts too much.
You don’t let him take the roots out, the roots that are tangled around your heart.
The tree begins growing back again. It’s life source-the roots-still there.
Until one day you decide you have let the enemy win for far too long. It’s time to claim the victory God has been trying to give you all along.
So you let God chop and dig away one last time. This time giving him the space to work. Letting him dig as deep as he wants, no matter the pain. Because you know when the roots are gone, there will be nothing left. It will be completely uprooted. There is no longer anything choking your heart.
It was a long, messy process. It was painful. At times you didn’t want the hurt caused by the uprooting, you just wanted to walk in the sin because it was easier. But eventually you realized there is more. More of God that you can not see until you let God conquer, from the roots.
Freedom, true freedom, has come!