Tuesday, July 19, 2011


On our current property, we have ample opportunity for weed pulling, with multiple flower beds, a vegetable garden, and a long driveway, but since we moved here 6 years ago, my arch nemesis in the weeding department has been the flower beds lining the walkway leading up to our front door.  These beds are packed with iris plants, which is lovely when they bloom, but makes weeding somewhat challenging.  It has been my fervent desire, for at least 3 years now, to dig up these beds and start over, finishing with an extra thick layer of mulch to discourage new weeds from growing, of course.  I want these beds to look beautiful and well cared-for because they welcome visitors to our home.

I got my wish on the house side of the path.  A couple of weeks ago our weekend plans changed, and so our pond finally went in outside the guest room window (you may remember I dug the hole last summer).  I'm waiting until our intense heat wanes a bit before surrounding it with perennials, but the mulch is ready and waiting to be employed in its weed-smothering capacity.

On the other side of the path, I decided to just try my best.  My best is the best I can do, after all.  So, with yet another schedule to guide me, I vowed to weed as much as I could get done in 15 minutes each day and to forgive myself for not being able to get to it all.  It started out well.  I managed to get the weeds cleared from about 1/3 of the flower bed.  For the first time in as long as I can remember, that section actually looked good...the rest wasn't so great, but at least I accomplished that much.

For the rest of the week, I turned my attention to other areas, weeding as much as I could in those 15 minutes a day.  About a week later, I walked up toward the front door of our house (I generally go in and out through the garage) and was shocked and dismayed to discover that the weeds were back, and bigger than before!  All of my hard work was wiped out in such a short time.

I don't know if you've noticed this, but it is so discouraging and disheartening to do a task that is so easily and reliably undone, not to mention how difficult it is to get motivated to do it in the first place.

It reminds me of how God's people make the same mistakes, over and over and over again.  If you've studied the before-Christ portion of the Bible, you know what I'm talking about.  Heck, if you're breathing right now, you probably know what I'm talking about.  God's people turn away time and time again, then cry out to God for help, asking why he's abandoned them.  Truth be told, I would give up.  I did give up.  As soon as this heat wave passes, I'm gonna be out there with my shovel. 

But God never gives up.  As many times as it takes--that's how many times God will save one of his children.  As many times as it takes, God forgives.  As many times as it takes, God will draw us back into his loving embrace.

The works of his hands are faithful and just;

all his precepts are trustworthy.
They are established for ever and ever,
enacted in faithfulness and uprightness.
He provided redemption for his people;
he ordained his covenant forever—
holy and awesome is his name.
Psalm 111: 7-9 TNIV

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