God Stop – The Root of the Problem

Ever since Chris and I moved into our new home we’ve been battling spider plants. They take up a large part of the planter in the front of our home. We would like to get rid of them and plant something more beautiful or appealing.

But it’s so hard to get the plants out. First we tried to whack them…thinking that they would die. They just came back hardier than ever and thrived. We’d pull the plants out…but much of the root remained behind and soon plants were shooting up and looking better than ever.

Today Chris did battle again. This time…we’ve tried a different tactic. We stopped the sprinklers from watering the plants. That’s allowed the dirt to dry out.

So today…Chris was able to actually make some progress in getting the roots out. When we looked at the mess of tangled roots it reminded me of sin and its effects in our lives.

The root ball that Chris was able to get out of the ground was a tangled mess. The small little plants had large embedded, entangled roots that went very deep. Just as the roots send out tendrils that go all throughout the planter…so too sin does in our lives. In his efforts to get the roots out, one of the trowels was bent. When we work to get sin out of our lives, it can be a very painful process.

In the end…just like the plants…it’s better that we never let the sin get started in our life. Otherwise something that looks pretty and harmless can take over.

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God Stop…By Golly, I Think I’ve Got It

So lately…between being way too busy…and having a “dry spell”…my writing has been few and far between. Before I get gun shy…I thought I’d better jump right in.

This last week I had an “ah ha” moment. Previously I’d written about how challenging it can be to be around folks who are negative or complaining a great deal of the time. It can be draining…and makes it hard for me to keep my focus on the positive side of life.

But when I had a recent encounter…I came away with two lessons for me to take away.

When someone is constantly complaining about their life…they must be very unhappy. Unhappy with their lives, their circumstances and even themselves. Now I can listen and try to be an encourager when someone is downcast. But when it’s more than a season of difficulty in a person’s life…that is more challenging to be around or listen to. It may be their personality or the way they view life…rather than a difficult season.

This time I had ears to listen…and what God impressed up me is that I truly need to be in prayer for them. Prayer about the difficulties and challenges that they are facing…and also that God would move in their heart and that peace and joy would prevail in their life. Of prime importance is prayer for their salvation if they don’t yet know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

So when all I hear are complaints….and it’s difficult to hear it another moment longer that’s my reminder that I need to pray for them. It can be a quick moment of prayer right then and there…or daily prayers for them.

Secondly…hearing a person with a negative critical spirit serves as a reminder to me that I need to be thankful and express my gratitude to God for the many gifts He has given me in my life. Things as ordinary as a job or an apartment…often get overlooked because they are so ordinary and everyday. It’s easy to give thanks for the big things in my life. But it’s the little things that make up my everyday life that are so easy to take for granted. When they are absent…then by golly I quickly become aware how important the ordinary, everyday, practical gifts of life are.

So thank You God…thank You for giving me ears to hear. Please give me an obedient heart so that I might act upon that which You have revealed. And God…please help me to take time each day…to look, reflect and record those insights that You have given me. If for no other reason…so that I will remember and grow.