Several years ago, we cut down an enormous tree in our side yard. When the stump was left sticking out of the ground, I took it upon myself to hire someone to grind it off. They did, and the grass grew over the scar in the ground. It looked good, and I was happy.
I forgot all about that tree – and the stump.
Recently, that decision came back to haunt me.
When my husband began to remove the grass and level the ground in that area so that pavement could be added to expand the parking space and driveway, we found the stump. (I know it was at least the size of the Rock of Gibraltar.) I had forgotten all about it, but there it was – in the way.
My suggestion – pave over it. I believe in covering things up. My husband, though, knew it had to come out. If left, the stump would continue to rot and gradually cause the pavement to sink in that area.
For two days, he dug, and we pulled. He cut smaller roots from the stump and, gradually, he was able to get a chain around it that allowed us to pull the stump out with the truck and haul it with the tractor.
My husband was gracious, but he did remind me that the job would have been easier if the stump had been treated when it was ground down. In other words, just getting it out of sight was not enough.
As I watched him labor and sweat over that stump, I thought how easy it is to allow stumps to hide in my heart. I am hurt or I sin or there is this attitude that keeps cropping up, and instead of dealing with the issue, I just gloss over it and go on my merry way. Out of sight, out of mind.
Sooner or later, though, that stump shows up again. Sooner or later, something disturbs the surface, revealing the stump in my heart. I think I am in good shape, but then…the stump.
Heart stumps stump me more than I like to think, and just like that stump in the yard caused my husband hard, straining work, they affect the people I love.
How much better to deal with the hurt or the disappointment or the sin immediately.
How much better to take that stump to the cross and allow Jesus to dig it out. How much better to confess the stump and access God’s healing power.
I find myself checking for stumps these days. Are there any of them hiding that will one day show up to haunt me?
I need God’s help – first, to identify the stumps and then to get rid of them.
I am so thankful that God is in the stump-digging business. He is faithful and just to dig them out when I open my heart to Him.
Psalm 139: 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
I John 1: 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Photo – Courtesy of Pexel