Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Oh, My Aching Shoulder

I had on my schedule this morning to weed my much-neglected flower garden. When I woke up this morning, the winds were blowing more than usual, sorta whistling around the corners of the house. Upon going outside to start my weeding project, already shredded leaves and branches lay all over the driveway and yard from the wind. I decided before tackling my flower bed, I'd better sweep up the driveway and rake the leaves and branches from the front porch and surrounding area. It took longer than expected.

But finally I headed out to the flower bed. The weeds must have been there a very long time, because most of them had very deep roots and it took some pulling to loosen them up enough to remove them. The winds were still blowing quite hard all around me, but I worked mostly with my head down, pulling and pulling away all the weeds. About three hours later, I began to sense that maybe danger was near. Branches that had broken loose from the trees around me were lying everywhere. I said to myself that I must be crazy for being out there, so decided to come in. When I walked back to the driveway and front yard area, it looked worse than it did before I raked and swept everything a few hours before. I felt like I was fighting an uphill battle, and I'd better just let the wind take its course before finishing the job.

I wonder if God feels that it's an uphill battle for him to show us and rid us of the weeds in our life sometimes. The "weeds" of our heart that we hold on to so tenaciously get harder and harder to remove if we neglect them over a long period of time. God likes for us to confess those tender roots of bitterness, anger, hostility, etc. at an early stage---not after they've grown to the hardened stage where we have grown accustomed to their presence within us. Sometimes we don't recognize the danger that those roots are causing. Just as weeds drown out the health of the plant, our sin destroys us from within the longer it is allowed to sit there and fester and grow. Just as pulling the weeds from our gardens allow the plants to breathe and receive nourishment from the soil, confession cleanses our hearts and allows us to grow into healthy spiritual human beings.

My shoulders are definitely aching from the tugging and pulling of those tenacious weeds. But in a couple of days, the soreness will go away, and I will look out on my garden with satisfaction that once again it is free of the weeds that wanted to destroy its beauty. Don't let sin destroy your beauty! Confession is so cleansing and good for the health of your soul!

I John 1:9


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