Wednesday, February 17, 2010

They're Back


This post was written the Summer of 2009. This post is a continuation of thought to Weeds In My Garden.

I was weeding this morning in the hot sun. While my four girls were playing in the backyard and my husband mowing the lawn, "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," "How could I've let them get so out of hand," "If only I would've dealt with these last week." Were the thoughts running through my mind as I was leaning over to begin the tedious process of uprooting.  It was while asking myself these questions that I noticed the same weeds I pulled up three weeks ago were 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 storms this spring 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't 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 Weeds in My Garden,  I mentioned some examples of these small weeds. I want to take a moment to make mention of them 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.

The small weed of fear has choked out the beautiful flower called FAITH.

What is getting in the way of tending your garden?

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

Friday, February 12, 2010

Weeds in My Garden

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Proverbs 4:23

One of my favorite things to do in the spring time is to pull the weeds in my garden. There is satisfaction in knowing that every weed removed makes way for the beautiful flowers I have planted to flourish.
One thing I have notice while weeding is the biggest most noticeable weeds are oftentimes the easiest to remove. The reason being, some of the tallest weeds have the most shallow roots.
It is the small weeds that are the hardest to pull up. They are the ones, if left unattended, will grow and eventually overtake the garden. It is these creeping weeds that will choke out the beautiful flowers I have planted.
I find this is the same way with sin. You see the most noticeable sins are oftentimes the easiest sins to identify and turn away from. They are actions that indicate ones heart condition. For example, drunkenness, cussing, wild living, sex outside of marriage, cheating, course joking, fits of rage, lying, stealing, fighting, destructive behavior. Just to name a few.
I have found in my personal life, my behavior is an outpouring of what is in my heart. I have also found, it's much easier for me to change my behavior, than it is for me to change my heart. My Actions are just indicators of my heart condition.
Let's talk about the small weeds. These weeds if left unattended will choke out all the beautiful flowers the Lord has planted in your life. These sins will also strangle your faith and over take your garden. Oftentimes, these small weeds are the reasons we do what we do.
Most of the time, these sins go unnoticed to the outsider. They can easily be explained away by the insider. These weeds are dangerous because they are socially acceptable and often times not recognized for what they are WEEDS (sins)! They go unnoticed and over time wreck our faith and render us useless in the kingdom of God.
What are some examples of these creeping weeds? Fear, anger, jealousy, pride, control, complacency, bitterness, spirit of entitlement, relying on self rather than relying on God, blame shifting, complaining, selfish ambition, gossiping, vanity, greed, just to name a few. These sins reside in the heart and often times effect our behavior.
What are we doing to tend our garden of faith? We need to be diligent in asking the Lord to help us identify and pull up these faith choking weeds. We need to expose the heart conditions behind the sin and bring to light the deep roots of unforgiveness, hurt, disappointment, abandonment, abuse, dejection,rejection and perfection. We need to surrender to an Almighty, All Powerful, All Knowing God.

What weeds in your garden need tending?

Re-posting of Weeds, written Spring of 2009.