It has been a long, icy, cold winter. Spring is on it's way. Where ice and snow have covered the landscape for far too long, suddenly ground is beginning to appear. Hope begins to renew with the thaw and the smells of spring.
I look over to an elderly gentleman in the grocery store parking lot.
"Are you as excited as I am that little patches of ground are showing again?", I ask.
"Yes!", he replies, "The only thing that winter is good for is killing mosquitoes!"
I have to agree that that is a real benefit to winter. I smile and nod, and wish him a good day.
Now spring is on it's way, and with it come beautiful reminders of God's glorious creation . . . like beautiful flowers. There will also be weeds (. . . and mosquitoes).
Again I am reminded of the way that God provides a spiritual parallel to the physical things of this world. Both sides of our nature, physical and spiritual, reflecting God's beauty and glory. And then come the sinful, ugly weeds. They appear among the flowers, threatening to choke out the beauty and goodness.
I am in a weeding season. I have been in one for longer than I'd like to admit. But then, do the weeds ever stop attempting to steal ground, kill our joy and beauty, destroy God's work in us. Hmm . . . steal, kill, and destroy? Sounds familiar? John 10:10 tells us that Satan's whole mission is to steal, kill, and destroy.
But wait! There is hope! Jesus continues on to tell us in this verse that He has come that we "may have life, and have it to the full." We simply need to trust and follow the good shepherd, Jesus.
Trust God, follow Jesus, call on God to help us weed . . . then repeat. This is the season that I am in. And as the ground is reclaimed from it's snowy cover, and the sun comes again to warm the land, the flowers and the weeds will come.
And as my soul is reclaimed from the cover of sin by the SON, and His Glory warms my heart, the beauty of this Glory will shine again. Then human frailties and sin will bring weeds to try to steal ground, kill our joy and beauty, and destroy God's work in us.
Trust, follow, weed . . . repeat.
LORD, THANK YOU FOR YOUR WISDOM IN BRINGING US YOUR WORD TO GUIDE AND ENCOURAGE US. AS THE BEAUTY OF YOUR LOVE GROWS IN US PLEASE GUARD OUR HEARTS AGAINST THE EVIL ONE. DO NOT ALLOW HIM TO CONTINUE TO STEAL GROUND, KILL AND CHOKE OUT THE JOY AND BEAUTY OF YOUR CREATION, AND DESTROY AND DISTRACT US FROM YOUR WORK. CONTINUE TO PROTECT US, AND PROVIDE FOR US. WHEN WE CALL ON YOUR NAME THE BIBLE SAYS THAT THE ENEMY HAS TO FLEE. BIND THE EVIL ONE AND HIS SCHEMES. CAST THEM OUT. WE PRAY THIS IN JESUS' HOLY NAME. AMEN.