Here in Austin, I’ve discovered that we have this lovely (not) weed called milkweed. I honestly don’t remember them from last year, but I remember them from the year before. And this year, since we lost a lot of our grass to a terrible drought, we had A.LOT. of milkweed.
Pretty much half of our backyward looked like this. And we knew we had to get those weeds out of there if we want grass … and less milkweed … to grow back.
What you have to understand is that this stuff is nasty. It’s prickly, it’s thick, it’s spiky, it’s well-rooted, and it’s poisonous.
It reminds me a lot of sin.
One cold, sunny Saturday, I went back there to pull up as much as I could, and I just couldn’t shake the parallels to sin. Here are some things that came to mind:
Sin is painful. We actually call these “spiky weeds” – just what you want in the yard of a 2-year old, huh? When they’re dry, they can slice your finger open (trust me).
Sin chokes out life. By its very nature, this plant is taking up space, a lot of it. Nothing else can grow until it’s ripped out.
Sin takes root. And needs to be removed at the root. And oh buddy, these roots are thick. Usually, even with the help of tools, I could not get the entire root out. But if just a superficial removal of greenery is made, nothing will change. The sin, I mean weeds, will just grow right back!
Sin multiplies and grows rapidly. Have you noticed this? When you let that temptation bring you into sin, it’s much easier to commit another sin against God. Because come on, you’ve already messed up – and His grace will cover it all – so why stop now?
Sin needs to be removed one by one. When you become a believer in Jesus, the Holy Spirit immediately begins working on your heart. But it’s not like all of your sin is eradicated all at once, or ever. You are on a journey, and that transformation takes time – sometimes it’s quicker than others.
- Sin is more easily conquered in community. You know what I was thinking the whole time I was weeding? Boy, it sure would be nice to have another set of hands – I could get this done in half the time. Even better, what if I knew someone who had a trick to removing these things?
- Sin is ugly. But God can use it for good! Just look at my yard – not yard of the month, ya know? So I googled “milkweed austin texas” to see what kind of tirades people went on and on about with these things, and guess what I learned? They are the exclusive food of the monarch butterfly’s larvae. Yeah. Just like our sin is nasty – but we can rejoice that we have a God of hope, who can redeem anything and uses it for His glory!
- Sin will be a struggle until we enter the kingdom of heaven, but fighting it daily allows us to rely more on God and know His will more clearly. Did you think the pic above was I’m finished! ? Nope – that’s just the one little area I cleared out! The rest of my yard was still overgrown with them. But now, this area has room to grow grass.
Like all illustrations, this isn’t perfect, but it really gave me a glimpse into some practical truths about our sin nature. At the end of the day, though, here is what I’m resting in:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV)
And remember – God has given us this blessing of reconciling us to Himself so that we can share that great news with others (5:18-19)!
Related to my spring weeding, let’s have a giveaway!
Miracle Gro has come out with a new product called Expand ‘n Gro™– it’s a planting mix that is all-natural (made of coconut fibers!) and super absorbent – so absorbent, in fact, that it expands up to 3 times it’s size when you add water. The all-natural fibers add nutrients that feed your plants for up to 6 months, so you prep your spring beds, and then you don’t have to fertilize for the season – nice!
A lightweight, all-natural soil product that holds water!? They’re sending me a sample to try, and I can’t wait. Obviously, my yard needs help. Do you want to try it, too?
Just Like the Candid Pastor’s Wife on Facebook, and leave a comment below letting me know you’re a fan. You’ll be entered to win a sample to try for yourself!
Your comment must be left by midnight CST on Saturday, April 21.