We used to have a cherry tree in our garden. When we moved in it was a reasonably mature tree, quite tall and attractive. Sadly, the wood pigeons and blackbirds scoffed every single cherry before they were even ripe, but it provided welcome shade and was an attractive feature.
Over the years, it grew considerably broader and the branches stronger. We put a swing in it for the children to play on and it was almost part of the family – our tree. Then the path started to lift. It cracked right across and revealed a sinister space in the ground below it, which was being moved and unsettled by the growth and movement of the enormous root. One day I saw a rat, which had obviously made a nice little nest in this inaccessible-to-humans gap and was living there quite happily.
We’d already had the crown removed but it seemed there was no stopping it so, fearing for our foundations, as the roots could be seen stretching far and wide across the lawn, we decided it had to go.
Last November it was cut down to a stump. The wood was chopped and put in next door’s shed to be seasoned and used in their wood burner. We missed it very much, especially through this recent baking weather! We could see so much sky!
But now, we suddenly have about 20 baby cherry trees shooting up all over the lawn along the lines of the old roots! We’ve been mowing them but they keep reappearing, greener and stronger – and multiplying!
The trouble is, the stump and roots were not treated with stump killer. We now have to sort it once and for all or we’ll soon have a cherry orchard in our garden!
So many believers have “history”; stuff from our pre-Christian lives, right back to infancy, that we think is all in the past and no longer has a hold on us now we are saved. We cut the tree down when we said yes to Jesus. Job done!
Only it isn’t. Time goes by and little shoots begin to appear – we chop them down, but they come back, more and more of them. It’s because the spiritual root of the problem is still there!
It may take prayer ministry, counselling or even deliverance ministry to sort it out once and for all, but if we don’t lay the axe to the root of the problem, we leave a door open for the enemy and he WILL use it to attack us.