July 19, 2012

lessons from the garden

It had been days and days since I weeded my garden. A hot, muggy, oppressive heat wave had kept me inside or near a pool for too long. It finally broke and out I went.

I tried my usual method of hoeing clean the walking paths and then getting down on my knees to crawl around the plants, picking out those pesky weeds. It didn't work. Those splashes of crab grass and his unwanted friends were not moving. I had to crawl through the whole garden, working each section free of its roots with the flat metal remains of an old hoe.

It was hard.
I left the weeds for too long and now they wouldn't let go.

It struck me as an analogy for our Christian walk. How often do we leave the weeds, the little sins, the stumbling blocks to dig their roots in deep in our hearts?

Then, Lauren came to help. I put her on the edge of the garden, where there is one line of big weeds, cutting the garden off from the hay field. As she was snipping and pulling, a snake slithered past. The snakes hide in the tall weeds, quietly waiting for its prey.

Yes, indeed.

It's not always the big, scary, I-can't-believe-they-did-that sins that will kill us. More often than not, it's the little, quiet, eh-it's-not-a-big-deal sins that will slowly yank us away from the safety of His Hand. The sins right on the edge of the line between holy living and unending temptation are the ones that pull us down.

clean up the weeds in my heart, Lord.

Anger, pride, selfishness, judgement. These are thing things that ruin people. I don't want to come close to the line between holy and destruction. I want to be able to see the serpent waiting long before he sees me.

keep me in the garden, Lord, to grow roots deep in You.

Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper. (Psalm 1:1-3 NKJV)

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