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By Joyell Nevins – CFFM Blogger

It may be the pebbles in the brook that make it sing, but those tiny pebbles can also cause massive hurt if not resolved.

Sometimes, we can get so focused on the big problem itself, that we miss the small root cause lying behind it. Recently, I had pieces of two cavity fillings break off in my teeth, which left parts of the nerve and gum exposed.

Before I could get to the appropriate dentist, I was using over the counter filler to patch the hole and clove essential oil to help heal the gum. Bonus for me, clove works as an efficient pain killer and numbing agent.

Normally, when the tooth pain would flare up, I would coat that area in essential oil, and it would die back down until I had to eat or use that side of my mouth again. But one afternoon, it felt like every 20 minutes, I was back with the Q-tip and the clove in my mouth! What was going on?

The Black Seed

I asked my mom just to look back there and make sure everything seemed ‘alright’ (or as alright as it can be when you’re missing parts of your tooth). Turns out the culprit was a tiny black seed. I had eaten a bagel earlier that day, and one of the black sesame seeds had gotten lodged between my gum and my tooth.

This is technically cumin seed, but you get the idea! Photo by Joanna Dubaj

So, even though clove may have numbed the area for a moment, it never removed the root. As soon as the seed was pulled out (very carefully with a toothpick!), the relief was palpable. If I had never taken the time to investigate and remove the root cause, I would have gone through a cycle of pain again and again that day.

I was reminded that life can be like that – we can focus so much on the problem itself, trying to numb or fix that immediate pain, that we miss the root cause.

We overlook details that are instigating the problem in the first place. Like the fear of the unknown that pushed me to stay in a toxic job situation. A grudge held over from an incident long before that continued to color my relationship years afterward. Frustration at my work that spills over into frustration with my family.

Or, as the wise King Solomon put it, tiny little foxes that can ruin an entire vineyard of beautiful grapes.

“Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.” Song of Solomon 2:15 KJV (in context of maintaining a relationship)

 What is Your Seed?

The enemy of the Lord and His followers is the master of distraction. Satan wants to keep us focused on the circumstances, spinning in a pain cycle, so that we don’t experience the true freedom Christ offers.

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 (Jesus said this to the Jews who believed in him)

What is your black seed? Is it jealousy? Anger? A hurt that has turned into a root of bitterness?

One of the enemy’s nastiest tricks is the seed of fear. Fear can keep the Christian and non-Christian alike paralyzed, unable to move forward and focused solely on themselves. I John describes it as living in torment.

Fear can keep us stuck in that pain cycle (to dive deeper into the deceit of fear and how we can achieve victory, read Senior Pastor Tonia Shroyer’s Fear Not!)

But, God has made it available to remove that seed, and then replace it with something far more glorious.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” II Timothy 1: 7 NKJV

In I John 4:18, it says that perfect love casts out fear – and that same love can win over jealousy, hurt, and anger, too.

Image courtesy of Church Iglesia

 There is TRIUMPH in the Lord! He sees the seeds that we don’t. And He can partner with us to remove any root cause.

“Now thanks be to God who always leads up to triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” II Corinthians 2:14 NKJV