Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thorns


The clouds parted this morning, and the sun came out. After three days of rain, the laundry has backed up. I'm trying very hard not to use the clothes dryer after receiving an electric bill of $348 last month. Yikes! So, off went the air conditioner and the clothes dryer. I've washed and hung 4 loads of laundry already today.

Between hanging loads of laundry I took advantage of the moist soil and went to work in my little rose garden. The grass was reaching into the mulch, and the weeds were threatening to take over.

My children are often given weeding assignments. I've learned though to give them specific instructions. Have you ever noticed that when child is given the task of weeding that they tend to pull only what they can see leaving the roots deep in the soil? The weeds seem to grow back stronger than ever, and at an alarming rate!


When I went to the rose garden this morning, several thorny weeds were encroaching my rose bushes, and they overshadowed the beauty. It seems that my little darlings have neglected these weeds for far too long. Why? Because they hurt when you pull them. No matter how tiny these weeds are at first notice, they are sure to leave you with a fist full of pain when you reach for them. Even the tiny roots are covered in bristly hairs.


Sometimes, upon first glance what is really a stinging weed can appear to be lovely. It hides its unpleasant qualities behind ostensible beauty.


As I labored, I couldn't help but think of how our lives are like the garden. We can appear to be something, and be totally different inside. We can appear to be beautiful, and good, but we may be totally unapproachable.


Sin creeps in and takes over if we aren't careful. We must weed, and prune constantly. So many times, like children weeding in the garden, we only worry about the surface. What do people see?

What we need to be concerned with is what is buried deep in our hearts, for that is what God sees. Why don't we? Because it hurts. It hurts our pride to admit that we aren't perfect. It hurts to make lasting changes. It isn't easy.

There is good news! We are like the soil, and the rain is like God's word. The rain made it easier for me to pull those thorns in the garden this morning because the soil was damp and ready to be worked in. The weeds were pulled more readily; not just on the surface, but the entire weed, root and all. In the same way, as we hear God's word preached, and as we read it ourselves, it transforms us and works in us. Slowly, we find it easier to change from our old ways.

1"But now hear, O Jacob my servant,
Israel whom I have chosen!
2Thus says the LORD who made you,
who formed you from the womb and will help you:
Fear not, O Jacob my servant,
Jeshurun whom I have chosen.
3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.
4They shall spring up among the grass
like willows by flowing streams.
5 This one will say, 'I am the LORD’s,'
another will call on the name of Jacob,
and another will write on his hand, 'The LORD’s,'
and name himself by the name of Israel."

Isaiah 44:1-5 ESV

True beauty replaces what was once but a show. We become more like Christ.

10"For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

12 "For you shall go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
shall break forth into singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
and it shall make a name for the LORD,
an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off."

Isaiah 55:10-13 ESV


It isn't easy or an all at once happening, but it's worth it. Have you worked in your garden today?

11 comments:

Erica said...

Good post!

And, in case you didn't know, the thorny weed in your pictures is Nightshade. It's quite poisonous (both the leaves and fruit) and the berries it gets are tempting, but will make a child or animal quite sick.

Rebecca said...

Beautiful post and beautiful roses. I have been keeping up with you, though silently...despite time constraints, I thought it an appropriate time to say, once again, how lovely you are and how lovely your thoughts are.

Hope you are well.

Cherish the Home said...

An *excellent* post!

Pulling weeds and gardening always gives me the same thoughts.

randi---i have to say said...

Great post, Tracy. I often think of how quickly weeds grow in comparison to healthy plants and it reminds me that sin wants to grow big in my heart---often without me noticing until it is too late.

The verses you posted are among my favorites. I just love the book of Isaiah.

Karen said...

Great analogy, great food for thought. I'm glad God isn't afraid of pulling the thorny weeds in my life-although it's often painful to *me*.

I usually lurk but wanted to let you know that I enjoy your blog. Keep up the good work.

Kelly said...

What a beautiful, beautiful post, Tracy. In fact, your whole blog is a lovely and inspiring place! Thank you so much for visiting me at The Barefoot Mama - I'll totally be back to check in on you here...and I LOVE your header! How adorable are you?! And you have an Etsy shop, sigh. I'm jealous. :o)

Have a wonderful weekend!!

His Girl said...

tracy,
this is one of my favorite posts, ever! well written & illustrated... fantastic!

totally encouraged my heart today.

Jodi said...

Tracy ~ What a beautiful, thought-provoking post. "Weeding" is never easy work but always worthwhile. I just finished reading Isaiah ... it was wonderful to see those verses.

Mrs. Anna T said...

Tracy, what a lovely post. Yes I have been working in my 'garden' lately, and yes it's hurts, but it's worth it and it must be done!

Ways of Zion said...

wonderful post...hummmm wondering why my other comment was deleted???

Short Stop said...

My favorite post of yours. Hands down. My favorite.

This was encouragement sent right to my soul. I push God aside when I don't feel like being reminded of the weeds in my garden; but, I know that I need Him and His word to get rid of the weeds once and for all.

Thank you, my friend. You are so inspiring to me, and this post perfectly displays why I love reading your blog so much...and why I enjoy just spending time here. Thank you!