Friday, August 12, 2011

Weeds...and bitter roots

I pulled weeds (again) today. The house we rent has been a weekend vacation home for the couple who owns it, and, as such, has had intermittent care. The weeds, however, have been full-time residents. It is they who are established and I who am temporary.

God has used weeds to teach me a lot through the years, and those lessons come to mind every, single time I pull one. Seriously, without exception, I am struck by the following things:

1) It is a matter of commitment for me to pull every last weed in an area. Should I just grab the larger, easier ones and leave the smaller ones that take more effort? How long will I stay with the task? This is a lesson I review every morning as I question my commitment to the things God has called me to.

2) The size of the weed has no bearing on the size of its roots. A 2-inch tall weed can have footlong roots. It's easy to break off only what I can see, but seeking out and loosening that root takes time. Again, am I willing to do the harder things?

3) The struggle is worth my time. Why I find victory in pulling those roots out (and spraying dirt everywhere) is silly really. This makes me feel validated? Perhaps this goes back to the old "job well done" philosophy, yet I believe it's the slightest little reward for following through.

4) These weeds are just like my heart. The Bible talks about "bitter roots" that "cause trouble". My heart, like areas of my garden, is full of things hanging on for dear life - things with deep roots that I don't always want to work to pull out. It's hard work to tackle those deeply-rooted 'weeds', but God wants them out indeed.

What a sad statement it is that the larger the weed, the easier it is to pull. How big are those things in my heart that come out easily? How long have I allowed them to grow there? The little 'weeds', the newest things, are much tougher to go after. They may actually be shaded, protected, by the bigger things that have made a home in my heart.

Today, I found garden weeds in the tiniest places, all but hidden from view. I wanted to leave them until they'd be easier to see and to reach. But God had other plans, and we attacked those sprouts with a vengeance. Oh, that I would do that in my heart today...

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