So today was such a beautiful day that I decided to don my “Spider Armor” and go work in the yard. Yes I know that this is simply a pair of rubber boots and gloves, I never said my spider phobia was rational. And yes that is yellow duct tape on the boot, I had to make emergency repairs and I am pretty sure it adds a level of protection.  Don’t tell Anthony that I use his work gloves, I think the force is stronger in them….

Spider armor on, I ventured outside and was so looking forward to getting things ready for all the beauty of spring.  I am going to garden this year!  Very excited to use this land that God has blessed us with and actually work to grow and harvest something from it.  As soon as I stepped out the door I saw something that has pestered me since we moved here in 2003.

Chickweed. At my first encounter with this weed, I greatly underestimated it.  I thought it was harmless and somewhat cute with its little white flowers.  The only way to remove this weed that is low to the ground, fast growing, re-seeds itself, and survives the Arkansas winters, is to make sure you pull it out at the roots…all of the roots.  Any roots left behind will continue growing and spreading.  The problem with this innocent and harmless looking weed is, if left unattended, left to grow, it will spread very quickly, cover the ground, snaking through the flowers and plants, if it is not removed at the roots it can eventually choke out any plants.  So I have this one area that the chickweed has been in for years.  My problem is that I did not take it seriously.  I would go out every so often and pull it up not really taking too much care to get all the roots.

This past summer I did even less to take care of my yard.  We had lots of rain, I was crazy busy with work, God was asking me to step way out of my box, Anthony broke his collar bone and we had storms (Click here to see pictures of the storm damage).  So, because of the craziness of life I completely and totally neglected the yard and yes the chickweed.  I shouldn’t be surprised but what has now happened because I left the chickweed to its own devices.  It has consumed my flower beds and my yard.  I have never in my life seen so much chickweed.  It is everywhere, threatening the new life that spring brings.  While my flowers and plants are trying hard to spring up and come to life, the chickweed is all over them, blocking their roots from the sun, wrapping around their small shoots and choking them out.  I am overwhelmed by it.  I don’t even know how to go about removing it, it is consuming my beautiful land.

As I was in the yard I was struck by how the chickweed is so much like sin.  We often underestimate it, we think it isn’t that big of a sin, that it is a harmless sin, and may even be enticed by it (little white flowers).  When sin first appears, and we notice it, often we don’t take the time and the care to make sure and remove it from our life, to make sure it get all of it out.  Then those times come in our lives when the busyness of life takes over, the storms come and we don’t even notice the sin and we end up doing nothing to control the sin.  And before we know it, sin is consuming our lives, threatening to choke out the new life we anticipated and are longing for.  We come through the storm excited for what it in store and instead we are confronted with this all consuming sin, that we aren’t even sure where or how to begin to rid ourselves of it.

Who knew that a weed could teach such a profound truth!  Life lesson from the garden: at first sign of sin, spend time, pay attention and be intentional about removing all of it!  Busyness and Storms are going to come…be prepared and ready so that when they require all of your attention and all of your effort, and you emerge stronger and ready on the other side you aren’t confronted with sin choking and consuming your time, effort, energy, joy and life.

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