Be Very Careful When You Are In The Weeds: Portals from August 14-18
Some roots of weeds can be easy to pull out. That may be analogous to obvious sin or habits that are more readily changed. But some roots are stubborn “as hell.” And then there are roots that grow just under the surface and are harder to track down than a terrorist. There are also those roots that are mammoth and have to be hacked away.
PORTAL TO HEAVEN: Know what you’re dealing with because some roots go deeper than others. If you need a counselor's "clippers" and support from others, GET IT!
You have to either naturally have the chutzpah or somehow grab-it-as-you-go if you want to win the fight-to-the-death battle with weeds. These crafty chameleons will do anything to hold their ground. They disguise themselves, wrap themselves around a good plant, protect themselves with poison ivy and go down deep challenging you to pull them out without pulling out your back. And in the dog days of August, it may feel as fiery as hell. It is a fight to the end and it’s not going to go away. It just gets worse if left untended.
PORTAL TO HEAVEN: Some people are always up for a fight or challenge. But many more are non-confrontational. A heart is too valuable and as such it is impossible to dodge weeding - no matter how clever our rationalization, stubborn our strongholds or excuses about not being a "warrior."
I went to yank out a weed and noticed a beautiful neighboring hibiscus flower begin to sway. Upon closer examination, it was clear that the weed had attached itself in an imperceptible winding manner all the way up to the top of the lovely white pedal and was choking the delicate flower. I had to start from the top and slowly and carefully unwind the insidious weed. Authority figures can often do the same with people who are delicate by design. It can happen in a home, church, workplace or wherever. Like the plant, a sudden and violent ripping could destroy the flowers. While using the gift of anointed perception is needed, manhandling out of habit or even “righteous” anger is not the answer.
PORTAL TO HEAVEN: Truth must win the day, but there is a discerning way to apply it.
One of the first questions new gardeners asked “seasoned” horticultural lovers is, “How do you tell a weed from a plant?” The answer is usually, “After a while, you can tell what they look like.” And so it’s been my experience. The weeds have certain characteristics and sometimes the base of their stems contrast with the preferred growth. It’s easy for weeds to grow near the base of our soul. From the top, you can’t see through the “greenery.” But as you pull back some of the camouflage, you see the counterfeit and it takes a strong tuck to get them out and a skillful hand not to disturb the legitimate growth.
PORTAL TO HEAVEN: Just like becoming familiar with weeds, we can grow to recognize entrenched sin and influences that are out to choke our place in God’s garden.
Weeding and trimming makes you acutely aware of why Jesus told agri-parables. My eight-foot bushes resembled my humidified-overdue-for-a-cut hair. After the trusty Toro rechargeable trimmer did wonders on the hedges (if only my stylist could do the same thing for me), it was hard not to notice a couple of stick-like branches that stood out. They didn’t quite fit the nice rounded look. Of course, any rational gardener would be driven nuts looking at them. But as I sat glaring at my overlooked error, a playful hummingbird repeatedly landed on that exact “mistake.” He not only sat there time after time, it looked as if he was scolding me for scolding myself. He would not shut up. The kicker was that the branch stood out and it was that aspect that allowed me to see and see the tiny creature. If he had been in the bush, I wouldn’t have gotten to enjoy such a clear view of my metaphor-du-jour.
PORTAL TO HEAVEN: God doesn’t encourage our mistakes, but He sure can use them.