As a new-comer to Clay County, I’m discovering lots of things—like where to get the best tenderloin sandwiches and fried chicken, and where should I go to get the best cup of coffee?
One surprising discovery I’ve made is that I have roots in Clay County I knew nothing about. I had heard about my grandparents hopping a train to Brazil for a weekday wedding in the Court House. But when I moved here, I was inspired to find out more about that wedding and got a copy of their wedding license, complete with signatures and even their address! I learned that my grandmother’s coal-company father had moved his family to towns like Perth and Alum Cave and Coalmont. All in Clay County and just a short drive from my new home.
I have uncovered some previously hidden (at least to me) genealogical roots. Right here in Clay County. Who knew?
Hebrews 12:15 talks about roots, too. “Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many,” (New Living Testament).
Bitterness is an ugly root that chokes out peace and holiness. I’ve seen people living with bitterness they have forgotten how to laugh or even smile. Bitterness unchecked is as deadly as incurable cancer. Bitterness is rooted in our pride, and sometimes a bitter spirit can take such root in our lives we cannot forgive, nor can we accept grace.
We’ve all experienced this root of bitterness. We’ve been hurt and betrayed by those we love. We’ve been treated unfairly, judged harshly, and condemned unjustly. We want justice and when it doesn’t come, we become even more bitter. Our pride has been crushed, and we have become angry and unforgiving. The root of bitterness is making us miserable.
So, how do we destroy this root of bitterness? There is no easy way, for we must dig at the cause of the root and learn to forgive. We must see bitterness as Jesus sees it: a poisonous root planted by the enemy.
And just in case you think these are mere words, let me tell you that I was once full of bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness. Through hard work, lots of prayer, and the courage granted by Christ, I developed some “Spiritual Strength Root Killer” on that root of bitterness. Sometime, maybe over a cup (or two or ten) of coffee, I’ll tell you about it! Or maybe you can wait till my book about it comes out!!
About those Clay County roots, I’ve made an effort to seek them out. I’ve driven to places my grandparents used to call home and nourished the roots they established in those places.
As for that root of bitterness, I’ve made an effort to seek it out, too. Not to nourish it, but to destroy it. I used that “Spiritual Strength Root Killer” I was telling you about. I recognized that my particular root of bitterness was planted in my heart by none other than the devil himself. Now, when bitterness sends a creeper vine to my heart, I point my finger at the devil and shout (literally—with thanks to David Crowder), “Listen up, you devil. I am a child of God, and I will no longer tolerate your bitterness. So, take your bad self away from me because Jesus and I agree that you’ve got to go. Now! Did you hear me? Run, devil! RUN!!”
And that’s the best root killer ever! Amen?