ROOTS AND ICEBERGS
I have an analogy for us today. A tree has many roots, but then the roots themselves have a plethora of branches off of them. The tree receives the nutrients needed to live from its root system. If there is toxic soil that the shoot-offs of one root soak up, then the root will become polluted and eventually the tree will become contaminated. So, not only is the planting of a tree in good soil important, but the tree cannot continue to focus on the healing of one root. The problem here becomes one of neglecting or overbearing the other roots to compensate for the ailing one and create an unhealthy balance in its root system.
We are the trees in life. We have many roots that support our lifestyle, but some roots are well known for being a catcher of all our attention and a leader to all sorts of suffering in our lives. Roots can be very similar to Icebergs. You can see the top of both and be enticed by what is on the surface, but there is so much more beneath the Root and the Iceberg that could be potentially harmful. In writing his first letter to Timothy, Paul instructs his young protege - "Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses." (1 Timothy 6:9-12)
Notice that having money or even lots of it is not the problem - the issue is the obsession of money, "Those who want to get rich" and "the love of money" as their constant focus. This continual focus becomes "a root of all kinds of evils" that drains the rest of our root system - family, friends, faith, etc... down with it.
The Answer is Christ as our "streams of water". Psalm 1:1-3 says, "Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers."
Our part now should be to turn Psalm 1:1-3 into a sincere prayer to The Lord. When we approach Him wholeheartedly on this subject, His Word promises -
- we will yield fruit in season (character type of fruit)
- our leaf will not wither (our strength, peace and outward appearance will not fade) and
- our works or deeds will be blessed like Joseph.
In the second part of the 1 Timothy 6 passage, Paul does not leave us hanging, but supplies us with what kinds of roots we should have. Paul says, But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses."
Everything that we consider as grounding in our lives, as important for living - finances, family, friends, food, and so forth - needs to be nurtured with the flow or direction of The Holy Spirit. If our roots get nourishment from anywhere else we endanger the whole tree. So, always consider The Source of nourishment in every root of every root system, especially your own - Roots And Icebergs.