Here is an interesting problem that is not so common these days, “Stumped.”  In the very “Old Days” roads were tracks through the forests and undergrowth, or you just forged your own way, but every now and then, you got “Stumped.”  There stuck against your axel barring your way, was an old tree stump that a previous person had cut down so that they could pass that way, they chopped down the offending tree, then drove their cart or waggon over it, but your lovely low slung cart or trailer is now stuck.  If you were very lucky, and it was old and rotten, a little Horse-Power and you were on your way, at worst, you had to somehow back up, out with the axe, lower its height, and continue to the next obstacle. Off Road 4WD vehicle often face this problem, stumps are not so bad, but a large bolder wedged underneath are very bad.

Are you “Stumped?”  Here is a verse that addresses something that we oft ignore, and often when we deal to a sin or a failing in our lives, we chop it down to remove it, this tree of sinful action, then turn around and find it overpowering us once again from behind.  Job 14:7-9 “For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease.  Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; [Yet] through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant.”  Warning; if you ever cut down a corrupted sinful tree out from your life, you can be so sure that when you go on your way, Satan will sneak up and carefully water that stump, and it may be ancient and very dry, yet it will immediately bud and bring forth branches, it will come back bigger than ever before to harass you.

Romans 11:16 “For if the firstfruit [be] holy, the lump [is] also [holy]: and if the root [be] holy, so [are] the branches.”  Psalm 52:5 “God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of [thy] dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living. Selah.”  Malachi 4:1 “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.”  Satan is the “Root” and his children are “the Branches.”  We need to be so careful with bad habits or desire, to completely remove them, a light prune, or to chop it off at ground level, will never suffice, we then must dig it out, roots and all.

Ephesians 3:17-19 “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what [is] the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.”  Here we have good trees in our garden, being rooted and grounded in love, they can withstand pretty much anything Evil can throw at them, but back to Job, if the worst happens, and all you have left from a disaster sweeping through, you still have a “Stump” and the sweet rain of the “Love of God,” will soon have these trees of “Holiness” sprouting and blossoming and fruiting the Fruit of the Spirit once more.

In the Far North of Australia, there grows the Baobab Tree, now the ancients tell the story that it was such a beautiful tree, far more beautiful than any other trees in the forest, that after much complaining about the Baobab Tree, they finally ripped it from the earth, tipped in upside down, and planted it back into the ground.  When they looked at the results of their actions, the Baobab Tree there with its roots waving skywards, it still was a beautiful tree.  All the other trees of the forest saw how beautiful the Baobab Tree still was so they ignored it and left it, so that is why it grows out there away from other trees.  If life seems to upend you, be a Baobab Tree, be absolutely beautiful and continue to grow.

Here is a story about Jesus Christ, Isaiah 53:1-2 “Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, [there is] no beauty that we should desire him.”  You may feel like a Baobab Tree, or a dry stump in a dry land, just totally useless, not that pretty, but to God you are absolutely, drop dead gorgeous. Remember that Jesus Christ grew up as a tender plant from a very dry stump in a very dry land, sort of like a Baobab Tree, no matter how much your past has tried to destroy and to obliterate you, your stump can once more blossom and grow abundantly, your beauty is in your “Growth,” so, “But grow in grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him [be] glory both now and for ever. Amen.”  2 Peter 3:18. If you think you’ve blown God’s plan for your life, rest in this.  You my beautiful friend, are not that powerful.