Monday, July 27, 2009


This morning I ventured out into my garden. I have avoided it for a week, but today I knew I needed to get out there. Our poor garden has been left to itself for the entire first half of the summer, and it is absolutely overrun with weeds. I wanted to cry.

Normally, I am almost obsessive-compulsive about weeds. In summers past, I have spent a few hours every week combing the garden for even the tiniest unwanted intruder, and plucking it out. However, since we have been gone for the past eight weeks, the weeds simply took over. Some are tall and strong with deep roots and prickly leaves. Others are low to the ground and spreading out fast and furiously. A few even have some blossoms, as if to say,"Look, I'm not so bad." Little liars, sucking up the space and nutrients meant for my beautiful veggies.

Graham and Chandler and I hoed and raked and spaded until the heat got unbearable. We definitely made progress, but there is yet a long way to go until the weeds are all gone. Nevertheless, the vegetables ARE growing. Sure, some are weak, haggard, and strangled-looking, but they are alive. We could almost hear them whispering words of gratitude as we gently freed them from their evil captors.

Still, I love being in the garden. A garden is a rare combination of productivity and peace. A holy place, in many ways.

And as I struggled to remove the weeds from my garden, I began to think about how sins are like weeds in our lives. If I were left to my own devices, sin would easily overtake me. But, when I keep short accounts, ask quickly for forgiveness, and repent at the first nudge of conviction, those weeds don't have a chance to take over in my life.

If we leave sin unchecked, things get ugly fast.

Some sins will not take up too much space, but they will grow deep roots and penetrate depths of our hearts. Others will spread out their tendrils, choking out the light and water that our souls need to survive. And then there are those that try to look pretty, and convince us that they don't need to go.

Oh, they all need to go.

The master gardener can free us from the weeds. He will carefully tend the soil of our souls to rout out the sins, and nurture the things that He planted to bear fruit in our lives. There may be some pruning, and thinning, and transplanting. But everything that He does is for our good and His glory.

Today, I will invite the Lord to do some weeding in my life. And I will whisper words of gratitude to Him as He gently frees me once again.

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