During the warmer months my wife does quite a bit of yard work and she loves it. She enjoys telling me each day of the bushes that she has trimmed or the vines she has torn down. She also does a fantastic job at keeping the lawn mowed.
Sometimes I find out about her accomplishment when I see a huge pile of clipped branches in a few places in the backyard. It really is impressive.
Jenny discovered her love for yard work when we were living in Southeast Missouri.
One day we were driving home and she was telling me of the bush she had trimmed down.
“You know, sometimes when you clean away all the junk, what’s left isn’t pretty.” When I asked her to explain she only said, “You will see when you get home.”
When we pulled up, once again I saw a giant pile of branches in the driveway. When I looked where they had been I saw what used to be a bush. It was a sad excuse for a bush now. There was one lone branch sticking up with a few leaves on it and some greenery along the ground.
What’s funny is, while the vines were choking the life out of that bush, it didn’t look that bad. The vine was green and leafy. It even had some flowers on it. But the truth is, the vine was killed the bush underneath.
How often does this happen in the lives of people around us? How often does it happen in our own lives?
We surround ourselves with situations or people that literally choke out the life that God has given us but we pretend everything is fine. Nobody around knows the death we are going through because we have hidden it behind flowery smiles or the greenery of “success.” All the while we are allowing sin, distractions, or other people to choke us out.
The Bible tells us to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.” Get rid of whatever it is that is keeping you from living the life God desires for you. Doing anything other than what God wills is sin and it is killing us slowly.
It can be a complicated process. What we have allowed into our lives will not separate easily.
There will be hurt feelings. You may be left feeling exposed because everything you were using to hide behind is slowly being cut away.
I understand that when the vines areremoved, what will be left may not be pretty. There will be scars and bruises. Relationships will have to be mended, people forgiven. But even though the mess may be viewable to everyone around you now, at least you will have the opportunity to grow and thrive.
It is scary to remove sin, distractions, or toxic people, but it is necessary for growth. It is so beneficial and the rewards will be worth it.
The rewards or a life in tune with God’s desires. A life of not feeling by the presence of harmful things or people.
We can finally breathe easily.
We will start off looking a bit rough but we will finally be able to grow.