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Summer Weeds

Whether it’s the warning message from the Homeowners Association or the sense you have when you walk outside that it just doesn’t look right, the overgrowth of weeds in your flowerbeds needs someone’s attention.

My friend had attempted to conquer her weeds after such a warning. If she was going to do it, she was going to do it all the way. She started from scratch and bought a weed barrier over which she laid dirt and mulch. She was sure that weeds would no longer pose a problem. I shared my own experience having done the same and how amazed I am that some grass and weeds can make their way through anyway. She was discouraged by my experience.

It’s not that the barrier doesn’t work at all. I would hate to see how bad the weeds would get if I didn’t have it. The best attitude I can have about the weeds in my life are to expect them and conquer them one day at a time. I’ve remained basically diligent since spring. I even pulled the tiniest weed knowing that I was diminishing my need for weeding in the future. It has worked, but every week I have some weeds or unwanted grass to pull.

I’ve accepted that I will never be finished. Likewise, I will never be finished with my sin. I will never finish a lot of things in this life. Just like weeding seasons will continue to confront me, so will my sins, my grief and my misplaced emotions.

Accepting that I am a sinner can release the garden of my soul to flourish because of this spiritual reality. Paul wrote these words to his spiritual son, Timothy: "But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life" (I Timothy 1:16). I’m not proud of my sins when I accept that I am a sinner, but I am more in awe of my God who loves me.

Accepting that I am a sinner aids my soul in a multitude of ways. It keeps me from judging others too harshly. It makes me wonder how God could love me so much. It helps me fight off the condemnation with which Satan wants to attack me. I already know that I am the worst of sinners, so I don’t need him to accuse me.

Weeding seasons come and go, but the weeds are here to stay. I want to live one day without sin, but I’m not sure I ever will. The reward is in the trying. The reward is in not giving up on the weeds. I take them one weed at a time, and that makes my garden and my soul better than it would have been. The blood of Christ flows fully and freely over the worst of sinners. It’s discouraging news to one who is only focused on efforts to get rid of sin and not on God. It is sweetness to a soul who can receive the love and forgiveness God bestows to the worst of sinners.

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