The weeds we have in the southwest are no ordinary weeds. They are the ones that have the goat heads, and foxtail weeds that are prickly and both are sometimes very sharp, causing anyone who steps on them great discomfort, pain, and sometimes a mild allergic reaction.
These weeds were long and as they intertwined with the healthy plants, they were sticking to the beautiful flowers, tearing the petals off as I pulled the weeds. They were in between, on the sides, and sprouting even where there was nothing there.
At one point, I looked at my left hand as I held the weeds I was pulling and I looked at what a green, robust, and in a way- a pretty bouquet of weeds I had gathered. I even thought to myself, “Wow! I can bring these in and put them in a beautiful vase and arrange them to look like a rare type of flowers!”
As I began to pull the weeds, I saw many mosquitos flying around, low and hard to detect most of the time. The rains had also brought many ants out of their colony to explore and just roam around. I knew it was a matter of time before I got bit and stung. My shorts and flip flops did not offer much protection.
I hesitated to dig and stretch my hands in between the flowers, to pull the weeds from the root. My imagination was running around with all the insects my hand could encounter as I buried it in the mix. A few times I tried pulling from the top only to find that the weed would break, leaving it to take root, grow and multiply.
It was then, in the flower bed, on a warm Monday morning, in between the stinging weeds, mosquitos and ants that I heard a voice telling me, “Go deeper…” Without hesitation, I said, “I trust You, Lord.”
Then I began to pull them from the root, digging in between the tall mixture of flowers and weeds, low to the ground. Again, I heard a voice saying, “Deeper…”
And again a voice…
“Pull firmly but gently…” and then as I listened and was obedient, the root would come up with the weeds. Sometimes I was able to feel the release of the root from the soil.
As I kept pulling, it was laid in my heart that weeds are like sin… if you allow them to grow, they will grow everywhere.
© It will grow in between the beautiful things about us.
© It will grow all around us.
© It will grow within us.
© It will intertwine with the good.
© It will stick and tear into the blessings.
I have to constantly pull the sin out of my heart, by the root, not just the surface where people can’t see it anymore. And it has to be done firmly but gently.
And you can trust God when He says “Go deeper…” “More…” “Pull firmly but gently…”
As I mentioned earlier, sin is much like weeds, they may look harmless from a distance, but when not addressed, they are sharp and causes anyone who steps on them discomfort and pain. And you can certainly pull the goat head out of your foot, but the weed and root remain, and continue to multiply and spread.
When I had a handful of weeds and I though I could make them look enticing if I placed them in a beautiful vase inside our home is exactly what we do with sin many times. We make sin look appealing, not so bad… and if we dress it up enough, we can make it look enticing. So much so, that we feel it is ok to bring it in our home, for our families to live with; to look at; to smell it; ingest it, and perhaps one day to even grow it.
And in the process, only He could keep me from being stung or bitten or pricked by my surroundings. Not one creepy crawler crept on my arm as I stuck my hand into what I couldn’t see. Not one mosquito bite. Not one ant crawled on my feet. Not one sticker poked me while I was pulling. He was faithful when I couldn’t see.
And so, I continued to pull the weeds, as I cried. Only God would pursue me early in the morning, in the dirt, pulling weeds. Only He would teach me about the sin that takes root in my heart, and how, in the past, I have invited it in my home. Only He could heal me, firmly but gently.
At one point, I wanted to be done and go back into my cool home, but as soon as I would throw away the weeds and come back to the flower bed, I saw more that needed to come up, until I pulled them all.
This is the heart that God wants to see in me… getting all the weeds out, and not see me settle for “almost done,” or “I can live with that.”
And I smiled as I looked at the flower beds, clean of prickly weeds. And I could feel my Father smiling at me.
The flowers did not look so crowded. And the water ran abundantly.