Would you all believe that this year, while I didn’t say anything to Marilyn or anyone else, deep down inside I expected to have a bumper crop from my garden this year? Really, I had already gotten prepared to brag and boast about the great green thumb that I have (or supposedly have). Please mind you that all I really know about gardening is that if you plant something in good soil it ought to grow.
This year I reasoned that if I till my garden early and then wait a few weeks and then till it again I could kill the weeds. This would be so much easier than pulling up weeds the root by hand. I did that and then waited a few more weeks and tilled the ground a third time supposedly assuring me that there would be few if any weeds.
As fate would have it, as the months continued I discovered that I had a hernia for which I had to have surgery. Because of having surgery, I can no longer till the soil or pull weeds. Over the course of weeks with lots of rain and watering my garden I soon discovered that I had more weeds than I’ve ever had before. Why did I have all of these weeds? The real problem was that I never really got rid of the weeds. I merely turned them over in the soil.
So then what are the lessons that I learned from this disaster of a garden that is inundated with weeds, ugly and out of control? The writer of Hebrews said this in Hebrews 12:15-16. “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no "root of bitterness" springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;” This statement comes in the context of submitting to God’s discipline of us as an expression of His love for us, and His training and correcting process to help us live a life pleasing to Him and for our good.
· Sometimes it seems easier to bury things, leave them alone, or simply turn them over as opposed to getting them out in the open. It would have been better if I had taken the time to pull the weeds out of my garden as they appeared and doing away with them permanently as opposed to just turning them over and hoping that they would go away for good.
Sometimes we experience problems with others, difficulty in living, and other real issues because we have sin in our lives that are rooted in our pride, selfishness, lack of forgiveness, covetousness, lust, or whatever. Those problems, difficulties, and issues are the fruit that comes from the root of our sins. Rather than truly acknowledge our sins to Jesus and follow God’s instructions for true cleansing, repentance, and making things right, we find easier ways to turn them over or get busy enough to forget them.
Sooner or later they spring up again. We are unable to experience real victory in areas of our issues, problems, & difficulties, because most of the sinful issues with which we struggle are the fruit of something deeper. Sometimes our deep rooted sins that we just turn over can lead to anger and bitterness which we can’t seem to overcome. Often these things lead to broken relationships, anger, bitterness, and a host of other undesirable fruit.
· Just like the weeds in my garden have to be pulled up from the root, so also we have to deal with the real sins that are the root of our sinful fruit. God extends His grace to us to obey Him and submit to His will and His ways in all things. That is why the writer of Hebrews stated that we should, “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God.”
The way we obtain God’s grace in all matters is to confess our sins because He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. In doing so we obtain His grace in the matters with which we hurt or struggle. What’s really exciting about getting to the root of our issues is that, “… no "root of bitterness" springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.” In other words when we deal with the root we avoid the fruit that causes us so much trouble.
So then what is this great lesson for life that I learned from the weeds in my garden? Look inside yourself for the root. The psalmist said in Ps 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 24 And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!"
With a sincere and upright heart ask Jesus to reveal your sins. Then you can confess them and forsake them. Prov 28:13 states, “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” The problems, issues, and difficulties brought on by sin will surely pass away if you realize that the fruit comes from the root.