Thursday, June 18, 2009

They're Back!

I was weeding this morning in the hot sun. While my three girls were playing in the backyard and as my neighbor's dog was barking at me through the fence the thought came to me, "You have to keep going back to the same place don't you?"

Let me mention here that it has been at least three weeks since I have pulled the weeds on the back hill behind our house. I have gotten busy with other things and have neglected my garden. I have allowed other things to distract me from tending the weeds and now they have grown to the point of becoming unmanageable. 

Where do I begin pulling? It was while asking myself this question that I noticed that the same weeds that I pulled up three weeks ago are back. 

"You have to keep going back to the same place don't you?"

You see it is not enough for me to only tend my garden once a year. I can't just weed once and think that I don't ever have to go back and pull up the same weed twice. 

The soil that produces the weeds is still the same soil. 

The environment the weeds flourish in is still the same. In fact we have gotten a lot of rain which in turn nourishes the soil and encourages the weeds to grow....

You see, I can pull up the weed of Fear but fear will sprout up again. 

I can yank up the weed of anger but given the environment that I live in, it will present itself again.  

I can tend to the weed of jealousy but I can not assume that it's contained for life. 

I find this especially true, when the storms of life pop up. Often times, it is when we face difficulties that we need to be more diligent to tend our garden.  Weeds flourish in the environment of trails and hardship. The soil, our flesh, is the breeding ground but the water of the storm will accelerate and encourage the growth of the weeds.

"You have to keep going back to the same place don't you?"

In the last post, I mentioned some examples of these small weeds. I want to take a moment to mention them to you again. These weeds are fear, jealousy, unforgiveness, anger, pride, control, complacency, bitterness, spirit of entitlement, relying on self rather than relying on God, blame shifting, complaining, selfish ambition, gossiping, vanity, greed.  Again, these sins reside in the heart and often times effect our behavior.

We can't ignore these weeds, in fact the longer we ignore them the bigger they grow and the more noticeable they become to those around us.

When life gets busy we are tempted to ignore the nagging urge to confess our hurt to a mighty God. 

We run from the opportunity to sit still and pray for restoration. 

We mask over our anger with busyness. 

We cover up our control issues with activities. 

We proceed as if we are right with God and don't need to go back to the same place of pain twice. After all, a little unforgiveness never really hurt anyone. 

We do not confess and repent; turning our back to sin and running toward a place of restoration and healing. 

"You have to keep going back to the same place don't you?"

The truth of it is that over time that small weed of unresolved conflict has choked out a beautiful flower called GRACE. 

The small weed of vanity has choked out a beautiful flower called HUMILITY. 

The small weed of blame shifting has choked out a beautiful flower called RESPONSIBILITY.

The small weed of complaining has choked out a beautiful flower called THANKSGIVING. 

What is getting in the way of tending your garden?

"You have to keep going back to the same place don't you?"

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