Blog by Ann Kling
For Christmas, my neighbor gave me a Poinsettia with beautiful red leaves. By Easter, all the leaves had dried and fallen off. I started to trash it but noticed some small green leaves. So, I kept it, not knowing what to do with it. Even though I fertilized and watered it, the leaves are still small, and some fell off. Just as I was thinking of tossing it, I heard the words, “root bound”.
Ah, it needs a new and bigger pot. Simple solution. My husband reminded me that I couldn’t just transfer it to a bigger pot. There is a process for the plant to be able to thrive in its new home. He explained pruning back the part of the plant that is no longer growing, to take a knife and slice through the roots to loosen them from the compacted soil and to add new soil to the bigger pot for the plant to grow in. When something is root bound, it must go through this painful process or it will do no good to transplant it. I’m sure it will be thriving before long.
In need of transplanting?
This started me thinking about my life and the various times I was root bound and Holy Spirit had to cut my roots to transplant me to a larger area.
We can get root bound in all kinds of ways. Physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially, occupationally, etc.Click To Tweet I experienced being root bound spiritually after 10 years in my first church after salvation. In prayer, I kept asking, “Isn’t there something more?” My spirit hungered to grow. I felt the season I was in, was longing for a new one. Like a root bound plant, I needed a bigger pot. A place spiritually where I could grow and get more Son (Jesus). Pruning can be uncomfortable. So can staying in the same pot. I got to the point where the desire for more was stronger than the desire to stay the same. Even though it was a painful process to be pruned and the roots cut loose, God moved me to another denomination to reveal what I was missing. Even though I missed everyone, my spiritual growth was exponential.
Jesus talked about how Father is a gardener and He will prune the dead branches. In Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.”
Another time in life, we were root bound by possessions. Jobs, status, etc. God pruned our roots by having us sell or give away all of our possessions and fly halfway around the world to live on a small island for a year to share the gospel. That was a severe root pruning, but it increased our faith, deepened our love for others, and enlarged our understanding of the Kingdom.
A few years later, I experienced another root pruning. I was emotionally root bound. I had been programmed in childhood to be co-dependent and a people pleaser. Holy Spirit began to show me how my roots have been choked out and bound by this behavior. He revealed that living my life this way; I was not growing to the fullest potential and plan He had for me. He taught me what it meant to live a life of pleasing God and not people. Although this was a painful process of feeling emotionally raw from releasing old, unproductive ways that had me bound, it was so liberating how God healed me and replaced the pain with freedom and peace. God removed the emotional bondage, cut away that which wasn’t growing and loosened the roots in preparation for His plan and higher purpose for my life. I got a bigger pot to grow in! His rich, fertile soil once again produces much fruit. He expanded me and expanded my capacity to love people unconditionally.
Are you willing to submit to the process?If God saw that you were root bound and not able to exhibit the beautiful fruit He created you to be, would you cooperate with Him and allow Him to prune your roots and transplant you into a spacious place?Click To Tweet
Or would you resist the pain involved and try to survive in your current condition? How long will it take for your desire to grow and change be stronger than your desire to stay the same? There’s the pain of change or the pain of regret. Which category do you fall into? Oftentimes, God’s promises are on the other side of change.
Lots of things can cause us to be root bound:
- Generational influences
- Negative Words
- Emotional Scars and the list goes on and on
Allow Holy Spirit to reveal if you are root bound in an area and why. He will gently cut away the roots and set you free.
Psalm 18:19, “When I was fenced in, you freed me and rescued me because you love me.” CEV
“Father, I give you permission to reveal to me any area of my life where I am root bound. I desire to be free to spread my roots in a spacious place and bear good fruit to show Your glorious love to others. I accept your gentle root pruning, so I can be set free. In Jesus name, Amen.”