I saw the weed the moment I pulled into my driveway. It was the size of one of my dinner plates.
Right there on the edge of the walkway up to our front door.
How had I not seen this before? Or maybe it grew overnight.
Either way, I had to pull it. I couldn’t let it survive. I know how weeds spread.
I also know you have to get the root or it comes back.
This weed was interesting. It had spread out and entangled itself into the grass around it. As I looked at that weed, I realized it wasn’t the only one. There were dozens of this kind of weed in my yard. How had I not noticed this before?
This particular weed was camouflaged in the carpet of green grass.
Maybe you aren’t like this, but I can’t just pull one weed. Once I begin I have to pull them all. I know, I know, being Type A is a blessing and a curse.
So I pulled it.
A few weeds in and my fingers were raw from trying to get the root out.
The top of the weed, the flowering part that you could see above the ground, came out easily. But there was this thick, stubborn root that wanted to stay in the dirt.
I did my best to pull it out and only a few actually came out.
I wasn’t about to let those roots stay in the ground. If I did, those pesky weeds would be back in no time and I’d be out doing work I had already done.
So, being the amateur gardener I am, I thought, ah, a kitchen knife will help. I began trying to dig up the roots with a paring knife.
First root, in goes the knife, out comes half the knife.
My knife breaks off deep down in the brown dirt next to that stubborn root. Well, I can’t really leave a sharp blade in my front yard. What if it makes its way out of the dirt and one of my kids step on it?
So, I got another knife. Stubborn, I know. My husband tells me that often. Determined is how I like to phrase it.
This time I was more careful and slowly dug the blade from the first knife out. The root to the weed, still in there.
I finally wised up and found my spade. You know, the kind made for digging weeds and such out of the dirt!
A couple hours later my yard was weed free and the roots had a new home in the yard waste bin.
As I stood back and looked at my yard, I noticed there were bare spots where the weeds had been pulled out. The weeds had taken over the grass and when the weed was pulled out, there were bare spots.
So I found a bag of seed. Within a few weeks, the bare spots were covered by new grass. Grass that was supposed to have been there all along.
The thing with those particular weeds though, they didn’t just stay in one spot. They spread like wildfire. Their flowering fingers intertwined with the grass around it and destroyed all the healthy grass in its reach.
The entire time I was weeding, or I think more accurately, rooting, all I could think of was how these weeds and roots were so much like our lives. More specifically the sin in our lives. Or the bondage we allow to live deep inside of us.
And we keep wondering why things don’t get better.
It might not have even started out as a sin, it could be a past hurt we never really recovered from or dealt with. Sadness or bitterness has crept in and the root is buried deep within.
It’s something from your childhood. The root is buried deep inside, yet the weeds are all over our outward lives. Visible to all.
It’s a failed relationship. You wonder why new relationships aren’t successful and yet the past consumes you. It’s a root problem.
You say, “I’m just not happy”. There is a reason you aren’t happy. There is a root. It could be an attitude issue, a heart issue. It could be a physical or mental problem. Maybe a spiritual drought.
My point is this, it’s not that you just aren’t happy, something is causing you to be unhappy. There is a root issue. Something which needs to be identified, dug up and thrown out.
We deal with our weeds all the time. We appease ourselves by pulling them out and bringing a temporary fix to the whole thing. But the root is still in there. And when there’s a root, the weed will come back.
Many times we don’t dig out the root because it’s painful.
The visible weed in our life is easier to cope with than the thought of facing where it’s coming from.
So, we get used to the weeds.
Even though they mess up our lives and create destruction where there should be beauty. We let them stay. We accept them.
Or we use the wrong tools instead of God’s promises and the power of the Holy Spirit inside of us. We turn to others’ advice. We lean on worldly fixes. We wait for others to tell us how to pull up our weeds. We settle for less than what is afforded us.
I think the thought of the bare spots also keeps us from dealing with the roots. We’re afraid if we pull out that root, people will see the bare spots and devalue us. Or we think those bare spots will never be covered up again by something new so we settle for weeds.
Jesus wants us to live a life set free from bondage.
Free of the roots of sin that produce the weeds in us.
Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
John 8:36 “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed”.
If that is true, why do so many of us choose to still live in bondage?
Why are we letting roots of sin, shame, hurt or pain choke out the freedom we have been given?
2 Corinthians 5:17
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
If there is something in your life that keeps reappearing, it might be because you haven’t dealt with the root.
Identify the root, deal with it based on what you’ve been given by the power of the cross, and see those particular weeds never come back.
It’s not as if weeds won’t return. They will. It may be a different weed from another root, but over time as you deal with each one as it pops up, there will be less and less.
Remember the grass seed though? It wasn’t long before small, beautiful, green spades of grass began to pop up in the bare spots.
And soon, all you could see was the carpet of green grass in my front lawn.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 “May the God who gives us peace make you holy in every way and keep your whole being – spirit, soul, and body – free from every fault at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”.
Maybe you feel there is a root you need to deal with. The weeds have taken over.
Start by simply admitting that to the Lord. Ask Him to help you identify what the root is. Repent, confess, get counseling, ask for godly counsel from a friend. Whatever you have to do, do it.
Pull the weeds, dig up the root and throw it out. Don’t let it keep choking out the life you are supposed to live.
There is freedom in Jesus.