Tag Archives: gardening

Let the Weeds Teach You

It’s my annual battle with the weeds of South Carolina that live on a precious old fence in our yard.  Weeds is a misnomer.  They are invasive aggressors that strangle, kill and destroy.  Every spring I tackle the vines and try new approaches.  Each year I’ve cut the fence a bit freer; I’ve used weed barrier and mulch.  Each year, the vines thrive.  Now, truth is, they are pretty, and they do give shade.  The work hasn’t been wasted…the blueberry bushes and old rose bush have also thrived.  But the vines are destructive; they need to go.

Every year, it strikes me how the vines are like sin in our lives.  The vines do look good when they are kept under control.  But the work of keeping them under control gets harder and harder.  The battle is never-ending.  The big roots grow stronger–thicker, hairier and uglier.  The young vines wind around everything!   Sin is the same.  It can’t be managed; it must be given to Jesus Christ.  It is the only thing we really can give Him…He died for it.  He wants to destroy it.  He is able.

Clearing Out
The annual battle against the vines always makes me think of what it must have been like to settle the Carolinas. But it also makes me think of the battle against sin. The leafy greens hide twining young roots–and hairy giant roots that latch onto structures. The roots force their way around structures and tear it apart. Isn’t that like sin? It can look good on the outside. But it covers a massive mess of destruction. It won’t go away just by changing behaviors & cutting out the symptoms. The roots just go stronger and go deeper.
Looking Deeper
The tangled roots are nasty…and hard to remove. Sometimes they even strangle other vines or even kill healthy, productive plants/trees. Sin that roots deeply in us becomes a playground for unholy spirits that make things even worse. Exposing the roots is a step toward healing.
Losses & Costs
It’s been about 5 years I’ve fought these vines–and fought to keep the fence they were attached to. I love history; I loved the old picket fence. But the weeds did too much damage. Sometimes we feel the same about sin…we’re afraid to let God have His way for fear of what it will cost us…what we will have to lose. But not removing it, is a losing battle!
Partners
Clean up is as much work as destroying the weeds! We need others to help us. Thankful for the patient help of this guy! He’s been advocating for ripping out the fence for years…but let me decide when I was ready. That’s an approach that works in spiritual matters too.
The next generation
There is some fun in the hard work of conquering the invasive weeds. Got Riesa into the project with a bit of a bribe…but she did great! We have to pass on the spiritual fight to the next generation too. God doesn’t have Grandkids! We all have to learn to fight those spiritual battles.

We all have weeds in our lives.  Jesus came to destroy the work of the enemy who sowed the seeds that became sin that needs to be fought against.  This website has a wealth of tools for spiritual warfare.  Browse about.  Send a note if you can’t find what you are looking for.  Victory is ours as children of the King.

Restoring life!

Vines invaded my fig tree this year.  They choked the life out of some branches and devastated the crop of fruit.  I’ve battled these vines for three years…this year they were mad.  It seems that every year they have come back stronger.  Truth be told, I was afraid of them.  Someone told they were poison oak, and I believed it.  Fearing for the life of my fig tree, I sought the help of more experienced gardeners.

A battle plans was laid out.  Wait till fall or early winter and attack!  Trace the vines to their root, cut it off and douse it with poison.  What a job!  Pulling the vines down broke out dead wood–and damaged a few good branches as well.  Finding the roots was a daunting challenge–and the size of some of those nasty, hairy roots was surprising.  My tree looks great now; spring will tell the story.

But this isn’t about fig trees or vines, of course. I like to garden but I love care-taking souls.  Those vines made me think of the parasitic nastiness that invades lives.  Our lives are full of little ‘sins’ that pop up…sins powered by evil that produce trial and sorrow.  When they begin to bother us, we attack them–only to find they get stronger and stronger.  Sometimes we freeze from fear.  Sometimes we need the help of others.  Always we have a way to win:

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” Jesus,  John 16:33

Like the vines in my fig tree, evil kills life and robs us of fruit.  Breaking off the vines above the root just allows the root to thicken and produce with greater energy.  Focusing on the external as a solution–changing a behavior, quoting a Scripture–without attacking the root improves the ‘look’ of our lives for a time.  The Pharisees were great at it–white-washed tombs with death inside is the description Jesus gave.  Discouragement, despair and death are the long-term results of that approach.

God did not leave us alone to fight the lusts of the flesh or the principalities and powers of the air.  We are created with a spirit designed to meet with His Spirit!  Abundant life is the plan of God for the child of God.

The LORD’s light penetrates the human spirit, exposing every hidden motive. Proverbs 20:27

Sin and evil cannot withstand the Light of Christ.  Like the roots of the vines on my tree, the roots of sin must be destroyed.  The love and light of Christ restores life–and produces fruit.  Our lives should taste like the Spirit:

…love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness,

goodness, faith, meekness, temperance…

If there are vines choking your fruit, find a friend who can help you with a battle plan.  Victory is yours in Jesus Christ…claim it today!