A few years ago we had a drought with temperatures at or above 100° F for 2 months straight. The grass in our field went dormant and did not need to be mowed.
During that time, UP came a mulberry tree!
In the short, dry lawn!
Its roots were all twisted and probably had been there for years, but the constant mowing had kept its existence hidden.
Having had to deal with mulberry trees before, I know you have to dig up the root and get rid of it in order to prevent it coming back. So, out came the shovel to take care of that invasive root!
If only the invasive roots of our minds and hearts were so easily taken out!
But perhaps that is one of the purposes of the spiritual droughts that God allows or sends into our lives.
Perhaps those invasive roots of
- bitterness (Hebrews 12:15),
- idolatry (Deuteronomy 29:18),
- greed (1 Timothy 6:10),
and so on, become such commonplace attitudes in our lives that they are hiding in plain sight. Others can see glimpses of them, but we often cannot.
Perhaps they are so surrounded by all the blades of the green grass of our self-made image that we enjoy seeing and walking through, that we just don’t take the time to see them. I know, ouch, right?
But, if we don’t see them, then:
- we don’t recognize the danger of their invasive capabilities.
- And, we don’t deal with them.
- And we don’t take the time to dig them up. (It can be a very painful process, after all, using a sharp tool and shaking off the dirt before we toss it in the waste bin.)
But when the spiritual drought hits, maybe because of a health issue, tight finances, extreme trials of a loved one, betrayal, death of a loved one, or moving to a new place far from the familiar, up come the weedy plants, in plain sight, that those roots have been trying to produce for all that time!
At this point our natural reaction is to complain and cry because of the drought.
We tend to see these trials as something bad being done to us instead of something good being done for us.
But, this is the time to get before God with a humble heart and ask Him to help us weed our spiritual lawns and gardens.
And what sharp tool would we use for that?
Hebrews 4:12 gives us the answer.
“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” NASB
As we sit down with God’s Word, to read it and meditate on it, we need to pray for God to show us through His word the offensive roots of sin that have been hiding in our hearts.
Then, as He shows us, we need to ask for His help as we choose
- to confess that He is right and we have been wrong,
- to ask for His forgiveness, which He will freely give (1 John 1:9),
- to turn from those sins by choosing to do the right thing that God is stirring up in our heart through His Word.
In God’s perfect timing, the drought will be over, and you and I will come out on the other side a much greener, more weed-free, lawn and garden, more attached to the Lord who loves us, and more able, by His Spirit, Whom we have stopped grieving in those areas we have now dealt with, to produce fruit in every good work. Colossians 1:9-12