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“Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night.” (Psalm 51:1-3, NLT)
I love summer! I love to watch the birds feasting at my bird feeders. I love the smell of freshly cut grass and the cool breeze after a summer shower. I enjoy the sound of a lawn mower, the zing of a fishing line being cast, the laughter of my children at play and the sizzle of steaks on the grill. Did I say I love summer? Let me say it one last time: I love summer!
However, there is one thing about summer that I don’t find so pleasant – the weeds in my flowerbeds. I relish in planting my flowers but weeding tends to be low on my list of priorities. And because it’s low, I confess I have a few flowerbeds that have long been neglected. Knowing this I decided the other day that I needed to be disciplined, get out there and weed those beds. Of course, I didn’t pick the best time of day to do it – two in the afternoon when the sun was the hottest. That was not so smart but I geared down and started the job.
I put on my gardening gloves and went straight for the roots. I dug up every weed I could see. It was quite exhausting seeing that it had been so long since I had decided to take on the task of weeding. I noticed that some of the weeds were even choking my precious plants. The weeds had embedded and entangled themselves into my plants so much that I actually had to dig up some of my plants so I could pull the weeds out.
It was tedious, exhausting work but I finally finished and was amazed at how much better my garden looked. Of course that was only one flowerbed and I had a couple more to go. I realized I had a lot of work to do and I wished that I had started on this project of weeding earlier or that I had been consistently taking care of my garden the whole time. As I was weeding, I couldn’t help but think about how easy it is to let sin creep into my life, just like those weeds had crept into my garden. I also thought that the effects of sin or weeds in my life are nothing similar to those beautiful flowers I had planted. Sin and its roots can affect the soil of my heart, which can negatively change the course of my thoughts and actions.
The need to be in control of everything was one of those invasive weeds in my life. This control had so captured my heart that I didn’t even see the damage it was causing in my life. My desire for control was affecting my marriage, hurting my children and hindering my relationship with God. After all the damage I finally came to a place of ownership for what I was doing. I realized for the first time how much it was hurting the people I loved and myself. At this point God was able to begin the weeding in my life.
It was a slow and painful process in allowing God to show me what it looked like to trust Him and relinquish control. As I continue on this journey of relinquishing control I know that this is not a one-time deal for me. I know that this area of letting go and trusting God will need to be visited on a regular basis. My need for weeding is the same for me as my flowerbed. In order to grow properly I need to face the control in my life and let God weed it out!
And this is my encouragement to you: If God’s unfailing love can take out the strongest root of control in my life; He can take out any weed(s) in yours too! Lets look at Psalm 51: 1-3 again, here David is calling on the mercy and forgiveness of God because of his sins. He pulls on God’s character, His unfailing love and His ability to purify sinners from all unrighteousness. David’s rebellion and sin haunted him but when He gave his sin to God or when He let God look at the weeds of sexual immorality and murder in his life—God did the miraculous. He forgave David because of His great love and restored David back to His God. David found forgiveness in God’s unfailing love and so can we! I encourage you to relinquish your hold, surrender to the weeding work of your Savior and become a well-tilled garden ready for Him to use.
Lord thank-you for Your loving kindness that surpasses even my greatest weaknesses and sins. I pray that You would take any weeds that have accumulated in my life. Lord, have mercy on me and show me the right ways to walk and the right paths to choose. I pray that You would light up my path and if I am walking in any darkness that You would reveal that to me. Lord, I thank-you for your mercy and your unfailing love again. Help me to come to You when I sin. Thank-you that You are a good Father and that You want to make our garden beautiful. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Questions: What do you need to have weeded from your life? Are there any “weeds” that could be holding you back from having a rich and intimate relationship with your Heavenly Father?