This might sound weird, but I love pulling weeds. I found it very cathartic after my husband died. There’s something about it. I don’t know. But it’s very satisfying. It’s also metaphoric for life. Like I was pulling out the old, unwanted, unuseful stuff in my life and in my mind to make room for new growth, new life. It seemed fitting to spend hours, days, in my yard and flower beds pulling weeds.
I still like it. It’s still somehow satisfying.
I moved to a new house two years ago, and the whole neighborhood has Bermuda grass. Which I like, but I’m finding it’s less hardy than St. Augustine, which is more typical for southern yards. The Bermuda is easily choked out by weeds. So, you have to keep on top of it, or eventually you’ll have one big weed for a yard. It’s a mess. But again, I like to pull weeds, so it’s been kind of a gift.
Lately, I’ve been noticing these pretty little lilac colored flowers with yellow centers popping up in my yard. They’re really sweet little blooms. I decided today was the day they needed to go. As I was trying to find their source, I noticed that the grass around them about 8 inches around on all sides started to move as I began to pull at the flower’s roots. What I discovered was that these pretty, delicate little flowers poking their heads out of the grass were attached to a very gnarly, woody, and nasty looking system which seemed to spread out and take over unnoticed just under the surface of the grass. You couldn’t see that. You could only see the pretty flowers.
I thought I was pulling up a couple little flowers and ended up yanking out this enormous system. And it was amazing and a little shocking to see the contrast of the delicate lilac flowers against its ugly woody stem and root system.
Oh, there’s so many metaphors for life here. Can you already see it?
One, I automatically think, that’s exactly what sin looks like. It looks pretty and enticing on the outside. Even encouraging you not to pull it out just yet because it looks so sweet. But underneath, just under the surface is a gnarly, ugly, woody system just working to consume all of you. Just underneath. Unnoticed. Until the deed is done and it’s too late.
Anything you allow to sit there that’s sin that you don’t immediately go after and yank out of your life will begin to choke out all that’s good and holy and just in your life. It will weave its way in and entangle you in its system and you’ll find yourself weak and vulnerable, and maybe even spiritually dead.
This could be anything. A little gossip here, a little inappropriate flirting there. A little peek at porn, a little self-righteous judgment, a little fudging on your taxes. All a gnarly, woody, nasty system, little by little, choking you out.
Here’s the good news. It didn’t take much for me to yank those pretty little lilac flowers and their ugly stems and root system. Weed’s roots are pervasive yes, spread wide, yes, but don’t have to go down too deep into the soil to thrive and take over. This is a good thing and a bad thing. It’s a bad thing because it doesn’t take much for the weed to thrive and take over. But it’s a good thing because it truly is easy to yank out if you want to. And sin is like that. It doesn’t take much for sin to take over your heart and mind, but if you want to, you can yank it out. When I pulled those weeds up, I just left them in the grass. I went back a few hours later with a trash bag and they had already started turning brown. That fast. They were dying the minute they got ripped from the soil. There were no self-sustaining nutrients or self-sustaining life in those weeds. They needed the soil to live. Your sin is the same. It needs your heart and mind to live. Yank it out and it has no life of its own. It dies. It needs you and your permission to live and thrive and grow.
Here’s more good news. You have a will that allows you to make choices for yourself. The Bible is clear that we must make choices for ourselves. Hebrews 12:1 tells us to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” us. You can decide today that you don’t want to give that sin permission to entangle you any longer. You’re tired of getting your real life, your abundant life, choked out. You get to decide. The will is stronger than you realize. When the will wants something, when you’ve decided, it directs the mind, and the mind complies.
In episode number 2, I mention that I got an up-close look at the power of the mind over the body - how a decision of the will dictated to the mind what to do. I witnessed this first-hand as my dad was dying from metastatic prostate cancer. In this case, how the will to LIVE created a power within the mind that affected the body. The cancer had taken over his body, but not his mind. He was sharp. We had already called in Hospice, so we knew he was in his last days. We just didn’t know how long he had. He called the Hospice doctor, though, to ask him to prescribe him something to increase his appetite so he could eat and get stronger. He said he wanted to help my Mom in the kitchen and go tend to his tomato plants. He wasn’t dying - not in his mind. But the very next morning he woke up with severe pain in his hips. The Hospice doctor came and told him, “Mr. Holloway, you are dying. Your body is shutting down. I can give you morphine for the pain, but I want to know if you understand what I’m saying and if you’re ready to die.” I thought this was a strange question to ask someone.
But here’s what’s so phenomenal about what I witnessed. First, my Dad was a strong believer, lover of Jesus, who taught the Word of God every chance he got. He knew where he was going. And he knew it was going to be good. So, after the doctor posed that question to him, he thought about it for a brief moment, and said, “Yes, I’m ready.” And less than 4 hours later he was gone. Just like that. Now, I am convinced that his will and mind had been directing his body to hang in there, until he decided by his will to let go. And his body complied.
Now, I’m not certain to what degree we’re able to dictate to our bodies this kind of direction. If you read any scientist that’s into quantum physics, they’ll tell you the mind controls matter. And our bodies are matter. Again, I don’t know anything. Except for what I saw happen with my Dad. One minute he’s determined to get stronger to help my Mom in the kitchen and tend to his garden. The next, he’s taking his last breath.
My take-away from this experience is that we have way more power over our minds and bodies by the decisions of our will than we acknowledge or even appropriate. And let me remind you, scientists didn’t make our bodies. God did. Science is just now catching up to what’s true about God, our Creator, and His Word. I think they’re just now figuring out how extraordinary our minds and bodies have been made.
So, I tell you all this to let you know that your will and your beautiful brain are more effective than you know. You are not at the mercy of a sin stronger than you. You can pull the weeds. You just need to decide to. Okay, listen, hear this: If my yard had gotten so full of weeds that the Bermuda grass was totally taken over, do you think I’d go out there and tackle that big project by myself? No! I’d get help. There are people who own equipment specifically for stripping the ground and tilling the soil to create the environment for new grass to be laid. Right? I’m not going to break that analogy down. I think you get what I’m getting at. You decide, call some people and get the help if you need it, and start pulling those weeds.
Friend, the decision is yours alone. You must decide. But here’s what happens when you do. You have the one who created you, your Heavenly Father, giving you the strength to do this.
In Philippians 4, the Apostle Paul is talking about all that he’s experienced in his life - all the ups and the downs, the peaceful times and the hard times, and he says that in it all, he’s able to face it and handle it because he has Christ. That’s verse 13. And then he goes on to say in verse 19 that God will supply every need that you have according to His riches in glory. You need the weeds pulled? He’s going to supply the way to pull the weeds. To get, not just those pretty flowers up, but the whole gnarly system, roots and all. He’s going to do it. By His spirit, Zechariah 4:6. He’s right there with you giving you supernatural strength, and solutions, and resolutions to do it. Get free, my friend, of the sin that so easily entangles by pulling the weeds.
Okay, I know this is not as easy to do as it sounds. I know sometimes it’s necessary to have someone walking with you through this process in order to pull the weeds in your life…especially if they’ve already so entangled you. That’s me. That’s what I do and I’d love to be your life coach.
I’ve put a link in the show notes for a free 30-minute call just so we can see if we’re a good fit to work together and show you how Life Coaching would work for you.
Also, don’t forget to get the free, downloadable guide that complements this episode. It’ll help you get started pulling the weeds in your life. The link is in the show notes.
Have a wonderful week, friends. See you next Wednesday for the next episode of Another Beautiful Life.