It has been a hot and muggy summer in Tennessee. Though I’ve been trying to keep up my walking, the humidity causes me to close my door and retreat to the air conditioning. However, the increased precipitation plus heat has led to exponential growth in my small garden. Not only do I have high green grass and huge roses on my bushes, but I also have weeds.
When it was just hot and dry, I had no desire to get out and work in the yard. It seemed manageable, and I kept putting it off. Then the rain came—days of rain—and all of a sudden, I had some weeds that took over! Because they were behind a bush, they just kept growing, and eventually were at least three to four feet tall.
Weeds are like sin—give them a little and they take a lot!
When we’re in a spiritual dry spell, we tend to ignore those creeping sins. They’re out of sight and out of mind (well, for the most part). In reality, as Christ-followers, we always know sin is there, but we choose to ignore it, thinking it’s not visible to others—hidden behind a bush, so to speak.
What we forget is that sin doesn’t just go away on its own. Without confession and dealing with it, those seemingly little sins will just hang around, fester, and lead to bitterness of spirit, apathy, and even to other things like anger, hatred, greed, theft, and so on. You get the picture.
Rain and storms stir up hidden sins.
After that dry spell, we had probably two weeks of rain. The more it rained, the higher those weeds grew. I couldn’t get outside to deal with them, because it was raining for one thing, and so muggy for another. All I could do was stand back and watch the weeds take over.
Finally, when I could take it no more, I forced myself outside early one morning and attacked my weeds. I thought they would be impossible to get rid of, but you know what?
Weeding is easier after the rain.
Moist soil gives way to the hoe and rake. Those tall weeds just pulled right out of the ground for me! I couldn’t believe it and wondered why I hadn’t dealt with them before now. As I felt the sweat down my face and gradually made my way around my garden with my tools, I realized how the storm had actually come to ease my burden. The storm was actually a grace from God.
Big storms make pulling big weeds much easier, but we have to get through the storm first. It’s the same with sin. How often, after a spiritual dry spell, has God sent a storm to wake you up to the reality of sins that were taking over? Storms are not pleasant to endure, but they do lead us to face the necessary clean-up afterward.
When our sins become fully evident to you and even others, we do face tragedy but find that’s the best time to address and confess what we let fester in the first place. As I read this verse in Hebrews, a thought comes to mind.
Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.Hebrews 12:1-2a CSB
Not only do we have the witnesses of the past to help us remain faithful, but we also have those around us. They can’t help but see when we’re struggling under the weight of sin, because they know us. So, the writer says that’s a good reason to lay aside everything that hinders us and the sin that ensnares and traps us. The members of the Body are there to encourage us to keep our gardens weeded!
How does your garden grow today? Time to do some weeding? You can by His
Grace and Peace