Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Two Kinds of Thistles

It's just past noon and I've spent the last four hours on an almost perpendicular bank that goes from our front yard down about 90 feet to US 19. I've been hanging out on that bank because I have a thriving bed of thistles all along the bank and a good ways down as well. Jeepers creepers! Why is it that weeds seem to grow so strong and multiply so rapidly especially when they are not invited guests in and among my flowers, trees and shrubs on that same bank?
I needed the right tools for my morning project - heavy gloves, a 10-tinned pitchfork, a big wheelbarrow and a good dose of energy and determination! And for all that, I know that at least some thistles will reappear.
I know Genesis 3:17-18 says, Cursed is the ground ... It will produce thorns and thistles for you ..." God spoke those words in judgment not blessing! Those thistles I wrestled all morning are there as a result of sin! I was thinking about that as I tried to dig out each plant with its ridiculous roots.
Actions have consequences. I know that the thistles I managed to get all the root probably, hopefully will not return any time soon or ever. I also know that I probably - almost certainly - didn't get every last smidgen of root. Those roots will sooner rather than later make their thistle presence known.
When I googled "how to get rid of thistles" one solution offered was to chop them off and keep mowing and chopping until the roots would weaken and die. I have a feeling that's not going to work but I can always hope!
There are lots of "thistles" in life; these don't grow in dirt. These other "thistles" are equally as difficult to weed out. There is hatred, judgment, disdain, hostility, betrayal, injustice, lying and on and on! AND interestingly these "thistles" are also the result of sin. We won't be rid of these "thistles" until Jesus brings about the restoration of all things when He makes all things new in His eternal Kingdom! However we still have to deal with these terribly damaging "thistles" with God's help! All these ugly behaviors and attitudes damage our own hearts and our relationships with others. They cause self-absorption and selfishness. They come from the brokenness sin has brought into all of life. ONLY God the eternal Gardener - who made a perfect world back at the beginning of time - can root out these "thistles" as He works His character into one heart at a time!
I don't know about you but I definitely didn't enjoy my morning on my bank among the thistles. Hopefully - if the life of God is really in me and I know it is - I enjoy the other kind of "thistles" even less! Hopefully I will turn to the ONLY One who can help me with these much more sticky "thistles"!

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