When we returned from vacation a few days ago and I saw what had happened to my garden while we were away, I could hardly believe it. It had rained a lot during the week we were gone and therefore, there had been a weed takeover. In fact, some of the weeds had outgrown some of the plants I had intentionally planted, coaxed, and nurtured. Isn’t that the way it usually goes? Those things we care so much for are often hard to come by, and that which we do not consider desirable is often thrust in our faces.
But there was only one thing I could do if I didn’t want things to get out of control, so I put on my trusty garden gloves and started pulling up weeds. The fact that the ground was so damp from all the rain meant that it really wasn’t too hard to remove the weeds.
But I noticed something interesting as I pulled. The more large weeds I removed, the more small weeds I discovered hiding beneath the big ones. That made me think about how dealing with my sin is often like dealing with weeds.
“Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD.” Lamentations 3:40.
It’s important to keep a check on our spiritual state. In this world it’s so easy to slip into ungodly mindsets and actions, that we need to examine ourselves periodically. Just like my weeding, it’s easier to catch things before they grow out of control – when they have not yet taken hold. It also makes it easier to see and deal with the “little“ things if we remove the big sins and distractions from our lives, just like I discovered lots of little weeds hiding under the bigger ones.
As we examine ourselves on a regular basis, we are able to deal with issues that are distracting us, temptations that we are facing, and sins that we have committed by confessing and repenting to the Lord and yielding ourselves to Him. He gladly forgives and restores us and we can continue to grow and thrive, just like a beautiful and carefully tended garden.