give it to Jesus


yard work is not my favorite.  but it must be done.  have you seen what happens when it doesn't get done? ugly. we have a certain large, circular planter on our property that is just far enough from the house to remain largely hidden from view.  i recently lost a game of darts, the result of which led me to that planter with shovel in gloved hand.  the task seemed insurmountable. seriously, a huge amount of weeds.  i truly do not mind getting my hands dirty, but this job required more than the typical dirt-under-the-fingernails effort. we're talking kneeling in it, grime and crud on your face type of job.  as i began to pull up the weeds, i realized all too clearly the parallel between my life and heart, and the unwelcome invaders i was yanking out.

for starters, some weeds have flowers. i actually thought that some of the weeds might have been left over from a previous planting we'd done the year before. in some cases, it was hard for me to tell which were weeds and which were not. in the end, in this planter, they were all ugly weeds that needed to be destroyed. parallel: in our lives, sometimes we can justify certain feelings or issues as character traits or personality flaws. 'oh, that's just the way i am', or 'thats just part of my personality'. no. bitterness, jealousy, anger, hurt, hatred....God did not make you to harbor those feelings in your heart.  Galatians 5:19-21 says that those qualities are clearly the desires of our sinful nature.  and they need to be removed. at the root.

next, weeds have roots. just like a regular, lovely plant you actually want in your garden, weeds have roots.  when these roots are allowed to grow deep....and they do with surprising speed...they are all the more difficult to remove.  and what happens if you don't pull out the entire root? well, it may look as though the weed was destroyed, when in fact, it wasn't and it will come right back. with its roots still firmly intact.  parallel: there are issues in our lives that, when left unchecked, will grow deep roots in our hearts that become increasingly difficult to dig out.

finally, weeds spread. they can take over and choke out the good stuff, if allowed to.  parallel: when left unchecked, our sinful nature will eventually rule.  those negative thoughts about {so and so} will become disgust and hatred if we do not give them to Jesus and allow God to rip them out at the root and replace them with HIS thoughts about {so and so}.  jealousy of {such and such} will become hostility toward {so and so} if God is not allowed to replace it with His peace and contentment.  Galatians 5:22-23

so, keep after the weeds.  don't let them pile up and accumulate.  some will prove to be more difficult to dig out than others, but don't be content to simply make the planter pretty on top.  you've got to get underneath and pull them out by the roots.  and i mean this both literally and figuratively...your hands {and your heart} will thank you.