Field of Weeds

I wrote yesterday about being in a Jesus funk. Or, rather, a sin funk to be more honest.

I remember as a young teen having to weed this huge field behind our home. I hated it. For one, there was punishment if it wasn't done and though my brother and I were supposed to share the load equally I would get in trouble if he didn't do his part. As a result I usually ended up doing 90% of the work. Secondly, I had parents of the opinion that you earn your keep, so while my friends were hanging out during summer vacation my job was to basically babysit my younger brother and do chores. The weeds were the bane of my existence because they took forever and by the time you finished it was time to start over again.

We also had a garden, but those weeds were easy--small, with multiple little fibrous roots that spread out in a shallow fashion through the soil. The field, not so much. They were these huge weeds, 2-4 feet tall, thorny and stickly and obnoxious. Worst of all, they had a single, long, tapered root, sort of like a carrot. The bigger the weed up top the bigger and deeper the root. I've always been a bit OCD, and I had this compelling need to get the entire root out. The field was made of hard, rocky soil and trying to dig up those stupid roots was sweaty, dirty, frustrating work under the hot summer sun in thin air up in the mountains of north central Washington state where I lived.

Still, I would try. I'd yank and pull. I'd try to loosen up the soil and then carefully pull each weed. It was almost a game, to try and see if I could get the entire root out in one calculated and tedious yank. Deep satisfaction came when I did, and small hissy fits of teenage girl vs. noxious weed came when I failed. But I had this desire to "root" the entire thing out, always thinking on some level that if I could just get the root of every weed out then somehow I wouldn't have to work so hard later, that eventually we'd have a weed-free field simply on the merit of my efforts.

I'm the same way with sin. I want to get all up in myself, look deep within to figure out where I first went astray in this particular bout of rejecting Jesus. If I could just get to the root of my sin, figure out where I went wrong and dissect it 4,096 ways to determine why I chose this sin then I could stop it from happening again.

Therein is the greatest sin of all: I don't actually want Jesus. I want to stop sinning. I say I want Jesus, but really, I just want my life (my proverbial field) free of sin (weeds). I can sit here and pull sin weeds all day long, clawing at the dirt until my fingers are bloodied and my nails have ripped from their beds, but more of the same weeds will pop up around me. In fact, the longer I sit here on this particular root, trying to pull it up on my own and avoiding Jesus' call to rely on him, the more other weeds are going to seed and planting babies.

I don't want to be desperate for Jesus. I mean, I am desperate for Jesus, but I don't want to acknowledge it. On some level I think that if I could just figure out my sin problems then I'll look pretty darn good and not even need Him at all. I never realize that's what I want until He shows me my heart.

Here's the good news: Jesus never forsakes me. I'm not so far away from the Son that there's no returning. He's always been right here, patiently beckoning me to surrender my pride and to rest in Him. He's the living water, and just as water softens hard soil to get out stubborn roots, Jesus is the one who both reveals and uproots my sin. Sure, it gets muddy and messy but that same water also makes me clean.

Best of all is that while my sin is a noxious weed I am not. I think that Jesus must see me as an annoying weed in His field, the church, but I'm not. He calls me a tree of righteousness, His own righteousness imparted to me when He died on the cross for me. I have to fight to believe Jesus, fight to surrender to Him and stop obeying my sin, but I'm not fighting for a life of miserable weed pulling. I'm fighting for joy, the sweet freedom of resting in the "arms that care about the ones like me," to quote the song.

So, I choose to fight. I'll fail again, find myself in a field of weeds over my head not sure how I'll ever manage to get out, and then I'll remember to simply turn around and see that Jesus is right there, I just turned my back on Him, and He'll get back to the word of sanctifying me on His terms and not my own.

1 comment:

  1. Really enjoyed this post...a lot to think about! I can relate a lot to avoiding Jesus when I don't feel like pursuing him. Keep fighting (or surrendering)!