A few months ago I was delighted to find that I had an apple tree in my backyard. It was a fun sight to see tiny apples appearing all over the tree.
However, as time went along and the apples grew bigger...I failed to pick them.
Mainly because I couldn't find the time to do it, and many were too high above my head. The thought of getting a step stool seemed like “too much trouble.”
Unfortunately, after a few weeks went by, I looked at my ripe apples...and noticed that...
they were rotting.
Upon further inspection, I noticed that the base of my tree was black, had missing bark, and some type of white fungus growing on it.
Instead of looking at those alarming symptoms and seeking to treat it immediately...I ignored it.
I took an indifferent stance.
After all there were somehow some good apples still on the tree.
They seemed to be fine and healthy.
Maybe the tree will work itself out on its own? No need to be overly worried, right?
But as time waned on, all of the apples began to rot, and I became upset that I had wasted my good apples.
My opportunity to enjoy a blessing-GONE
all because of my laziness.
Soon after the apples began to rot, I noticed that the leaves were also starting to turn yellow and were falling from the tree even though we were not in the fall season yet.
Only at this point did I seek out my old trusty friend, Google, to see what was wrong with my tree and whether or not I could fix it.
Alas, what my friend, Google, told me was that my tree had a severe case of crown rot...and would not be able to survive. If I had taken action earlier, I may have been able to save my tree and enjoy some of its fruits.
However, instead, the whole tree had been rendered useless, and we eventually had to chop it down. The worse part was that I didn't even get to taste its fruit!
My disappointment made me think about missed opportunities with God and our sometimes secret sins.
How many times have I missed out on something good or let a good thing go dormant? Simply rotting from not being used.
Or what about "secret" sins or sins that seem like no big deal...but left to their own devices, poison more than just a few apples or opportunities.
Sin is always serious.
Once our sin has been pointed out, it is imperative that we root it out, or it will poison our souls, rendering us useless, hallowing us out, producing nothing but rotten fruit.
We only deceive ourselves when we think our sin isn't a big deal. Instead of heeding to the warning signs, we ignore them...thinking that we can quit "when we want to" or that it's not as bad as "so and so's", or it's not really that bad.
Justifying our behaviors and our hearts. aka-denial...
However, scripture says in Proverbs 14:12"There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death."
When we fail to address our sin, we keep sinking deeper in it. It becomes quicksand to the soul, and we drift farther and farther away from God's warm and peaceful presence.
What we are left with is the cold realities and consequences of our actions. The merciless cruelty of the world-mocking us for thinking we were above its trap.
Confessing our "secrets" quickly to the Lord is the only way to avoid that dark path of destruction and deep pain of despair.
Proverbs 28:13 puts it this way, "The one who conceals his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them will find mercy."
Ah, mercy, what sweet relief.
The greatest news...is even if our "tree of life" seems to have a serious case of rotten roots, there's nothing our God cannot not remedy.
1 John 1:9"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
There's no need to chop us down and burn us up. Our rotten roots are never beyond restoration, for we belong to the ultimate gardener.
However, it is better overall, and a lot less painful, if we intentional do pruning periodically.
By inspecting our hearts often, and not ignoring the signs of a sin infection, we can taste more of the sweetness of this life.