Thursday, August 26, 2010

God talks to me in the Garden.

...or maybe I just listen more when I'm in the garden.

Last weekend, Curtis and I spent a couple days re-doing our front/back yard.

There was one area where we used to have a little garden... but our lovely Golden Retriever decided she rather make that her territory, and basically trampled our plants. And the truth is, we got lazy at tending to it. So it got kind of grassy/weedy...and by "kind of", I mean, we were one step away from finding large animals hiding in there and re-opening our backyard as a zoo.

So, I finally said, enough is enough! Plants can't grow there, but we can pull up the weeds and put some mulch down and at least it will look nicer.

So we did.

And that was hard. I mean really hard. And it was hot. I mean really hot.

I believe it was approximately when I pulled up the 1,029th weed, I started to draw a parallel between weeds and sin. We never intended for that section of our yard to get out of control. But before too long, things just started to grow. And the roots started to get deeper. And when I finally got around to cleaning it up, the roots were so deep in some areas, it took all my might (plus a lot of sweat, and manly grunting) to get them out of the ground.

Isn't that the same as sin? It starts innocent enough. Maybe you mess up once, and don't really think about it. Or maybe you think you got away with it, so you do it again. Or maybe you rationalize that it's no big deal. Or maybe it just feels really good, so you keep doing it. It doesn't really matter how it starts... what matters is, if you don't tend to it...before too long, it takes over your life. And then it requires some major intervention to get it out of your life. I had my kids helping me... Curtis was bringing in mechanical tools...I mean, It had really gotten out of control. But with help, the weeds were gone.

Sometimes, we need help to get the junk...the weeds...the sin out of our life. That help begins with surveying the damage...looking out and seeing an ugly, messed up garden, and deciding something's gotta change. Then asking for help to start pulling out the weeds.

The result can be something beautiful. And it will stay beautiful with constant

The same is true with our lives. We can't allow the roots of sin to find a place in our heart. We've got to constantly tend to our soul. In a sense, we have to allow God to be the gardener...supplying us with His light and His living water. Let him trim away all the parts that are not of Him...that are not eternal.

The result will be something beautiful.

John 15 1-8
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.