Thursday, July 24, 2008

Choked Out

I went outside yesterday for a minute to take the dog out and to pick a few flowers for our table. I went around to the side of the house, and was going to pick a few flowers off the Rose of Sharon bushes that we have. They're the only flowers that I can see from my kitchen windows, so I love it when they bloom.

When I saw them, I realized that they had all this excess greenery all over them. At first I just thought that they were really overgrown (after all, I'm no master gardener). But as I looked closer, I realized that they were being totally taken over by a very thin, but very strong weed. It didn't even look like a weed. It disguised itself so well, that I actually thought it might be part of the Rose of Sharon. But it had carefully entangled it's pretty vine all around my friend, so much so, that the she was completely bent over and tangled up. She was being choked out. Even though the Rose of Sharon was a very vigilant healthy bush, it still had a weed that was just clever enough to grow up around it, and take over the plant completely.

I went inside got my scissors, and went back out, and diligently cut off every part of the vine that I could. As I snipped the vine away, the Rose of Sharon began to bounce upward to the sun, as to say, "Thank you! Thank you! I'm free!" Now, I know plants can't really talk, but if you had seen how trapped down and entangled it had been, you would have heard it singing for joy, too.

As I cut away like a warrior for this lady of mine, I thought about the parable where Jesus is describing the different kinds of seeds sown.

“Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out.... "The one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. "

I know how easy it is to be totally rooted in truth and know the Lord is God, and yet still, have the cares, worries, and just normal distractions of life choke out my heart being free and in communion with the Lord. It doesn't just happen that I grow up in my faith and mature in my relationship with Him, without anything trying to come against me. And the sad thing is that we all have different kinds of discouragements, disappointments, fears, worries, and temptations that seek to keep us bent over and entangled. Unable to really stretch out and grow to be who God has us to be.

But the joy that I found in all of this, is that it's not just us fighting! He is fighting for us. Jesus wants to take those weeds off, and come to our rescue. I'm so glad that He doesn't just see us there struggling, and leave us as we are. He doesn't say, "You know, you really need to get yourself together, and get all that junk off you." No, He comes and cuts each vine and each weed away, until we're set free. He is our warrior, and He longs to fight for us and with us.


Judy said...

Beautifully said, Melissa! I really enjoyed reading this today.

Caroline said...

Thanks Melissa, I needed to read that. What a beautiful word picture.