I have discovered over the years, that life can be challenging. God desires to sustain us as we look for "splashes of His grace" every day. My desire is that through posts, or book reviews, you may find something that points you to the grace of God, and that He ultimately will make a difference in your life.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Walking Barefoot in the Grass

When I was a child, I enjoyed walking barefoot in the grass. There was just something about it on a warm sunny day. Somehow, the grass stayed cool and it felt almost velvety under foot. Even to this day, I love the feel of a lush green lawn under my bare feet.

When we first moved into our home here in Ft. Worth, we had that kind of lawn. It had just been sodded and the hottest part of summer had not yet hit. I walked out into the backyard and thought, "we finally have a soft lawn!"  Well, over the years things have changed. Not all at once, but slowly, weeds have invaded the lawn, and have become the "healthiest" part of it. It was sad when we realized that now, almost nine years later, the only really green parts of the lawn were the weeds.

Over the last couple of weeks, my husband has been diligently trying to deal with the weeds that have overtaken our front and back yards. Instead of mowing them down like he had been doing to "hide" them, he decided it was time to take action and UPROOT them and KILL them. He even contacted a lawn care company to help identify the problem, spray the weeds, and he will soon fertilize. Since these weeds had no business being in the lawn, action had to be taken, and the time was NOW. Was it easy? No. Will it be worth it? Yes!

This past Sunday my husband preached about those "weeds." In his sermon he went on to make the analogy that sin in our lives can actually be like weeds in our lawn. If we do not deal with sin, it will eventually take over and destroy the lawn of our lives. We can try to "hide" it by mowing the sin down every so often, or we might choose to call it something else (dandelions could be called "flowers").  We may even compare our lawn to our neighbor's and decide that at least our lawn doesn't have as many weeds as theirs does, but the fact of the matter is, we all are susceptible to weeds (sin) and we must be vigilant to get rid of them as soon as they appear. It may even be beneficial to enlist some help as we identify the problem.

In addition to destroying the weeds we also have to cultivate a healthy lawn. As the lawn is well fertilized and watered, it becomes thicker and stronger and more able to choke out the weeds that so desperately want to reappear. In a similar fashion, a close walk with the Lord and choosing to do things as He prescribes, helps us to not allow sin to take root and spread.

My husband used Colossians 3:5-10 to illustrate the things that need to be removed from our lives (things like sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, greed, anger, malice, slander, etc.) and then Colossians 3:12-13 to suggest those things that need to be cultivated into our lives (heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, acceptance, and forgiveness). Of course these are not exhaustive lists, but they can give us a starting point.

As I thought more on the subject of "weeds/sin" this morning, I wondered if we truly understand the impact sin has in our lives and the lives of those around us. When we lived in Bluegrove, my husband was playing a game of softball with the youth of our church, in the field behind our house. I was busy in the kitchen when my little daughter ran in the house to say "Daddy is hurt!" Without thinking twice, I ran out barefoot into the field. Before long I realized there were "stickers" on the way to that field, and most of them were now in my feet! (I don't know the technical term for those "stickers", but for those of you who don't live in rural Texas, they are a weed that have little burrs that are sharp and stick into or onto anything they come in contact with!) They hurt too!! Sin can be like that. Sin brings pain into our lives and can also cause pain to those we come in contact with.

When we tolerate sin in our life, we may never fully realize the hurt and damage it causes in our own life and in the lives of others until it's too late. When you think about your life, can you say that people can walk "barefoot" on the lawn of your life without the fear of discovering "stickers" hidden in the field?  The end result of sin is never good. We must be diligent to keep our lawn weed-free!
This week our church was challenged to ask God to reveal those weeds in our life that need to be uprooted. We may be surprised that what we thought were little flowers were really undercover weeds. We were also asked to prayerfully cultivate one of the seven positive characteristics of the Colossians 3:12-13 list each day for the next seven days. Will you also take up that challenge? When God shows you what needs to be removed, uproot it!! And when your lawn is weed free, be diligent to keep it that way. Oh there will be seeds of sin that will try to take root again, but don't let them linger. They are easier to dig out when they're small.

May the lawn of our lives be lush and green.
And may you enjoy a barefoot stroll through the grass this summer!

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