This morning I spent a few minutes pulling weeds from the sidewalk cracks at the church. The ground was soft because we had two inches of rain yesterday. Most of the roots came out of the ground with little effort. I’m glad to do this little task in May instead of July. By July the weeds will be bigger, the roots deeper, and the ground harder. Dandelions were the toughest problem today. Somehow they develop a deep, fat root before the leaves and stem grow large. Usually I need a digging tool to pull out dandelion roots. When I pry with just my fingers, the stem and leaves break off above the ground. When that happens, there will be another little yellow flower in just a few days.
Pulling weeds is a lot like removing destructive behaviors from our lives. It’s so much easier to deal with sin before it has taken root and become a habit. The best time to address life issues is when our heart is soft toward God. When our heart is hard, it’s almost impossible to get to the root of our problems when our heart is hard. When we dig out sin by the roots, it doesn’t come back as hard and life is much more manageable.
While I worked this morning, I glanced at the mulch bed near the building. Last spring I had begun to pull the weeds there, but I never finished the task. Now–a year later–I noticed the area I didn’t clear out last spring had about twice as many weeds as the area I had completed. The difference is noticeable even a year later. Of course, it will require even more work now to clear out the weeds than it would have if I’d done it last year.
That’s pretty much the story of life. We reap what we sow. And we reap even more of any destructive behaviors we don’t pull out by the roots. Immorality, pride, greed–name any life issue–comes back worse than ever if we don’t pull it out by the roots when the deed is young. Sometimes we need help to get it out. A shower from heaven will help, too. The Bible first refers to weeds in the context of the fall (Gen. 3:18). It’s not hard to connect weeds and sin. They both come out by the roots when the soil is soft.
Thank you, Lord, for that reminder today.