“Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day”—Psalm 25:4-5.
When I was a kid, one of my jobs was to pull weeds. And, boy, did we have a lot of them! I think every species of weed God ever created lived on our place. Some of them pulled up quite easily. (I liked that kind.) Others just needed a little tug. But there were those that rose triumphantly out of their hard soil, defiantly challenging me to give it my best shot. I think they were called mustard weeds.
They hated me as much as I hated them—their pretty little yellow flowers belying what they truly were! These kept me from what I really wanted to do—ride my horse, swim in the pool, play in the stream—the good life! So, I set about devising ways to quickly unearth them from their resistant soil.
My first introduction to this ominous task was a comical one indeed. I grabbed a hold of the top of the weed and pulled with everything I had, putting my whole body weight into it (which wasn’t much at eight-years-old). Suddenly the little flowers, stems and all, gave way and rifted through my fingers like a slick rope, sending me sprawling on my backside. Flopped on my fanny in the dirt, I opened my hand. Yellow petal remnants and green stems were all I had to show for my labor.
Undaunted, I figured I’d get a little smarter. I know what I’ll do. I’ll grab a little closer to the root! The process repeated itself, only with more grunting and growling. This particular process, however, yielded less “fruit” than the previous one—the stems and flowers didn’t even come off.
Desperate now, I chose the next trick up my sleeve (albeit a devious one). I’ll just whack off the top of that thing with a hoe—close enough to the ground so you can barely see it. (OK, well, then kick dirt over the top to really cover it). I quickly found out, however, there could be another type of pain in my backside if I didn’t cease and desist this practice. (Yeah, my dad’s pretty smart!)
Stumped as to a resolution and mad on top of that, I stormed to my dad (really it was more like whining to my dad) and explained how those stupid weeds could NOT be pulled out! My dad (God love him) probably chuckled inside, but he never let it show. He knew exactly how to get those weeds out. In fact, it was so simple and easy it took no time at all. The solution?
Water. We soaked the ground around the root and, little by little, the water saturated the dirt. I then grabbed the weed by the base and pulled it up and out with relative ease.
As I thought about my childhood weed escapades, I reflected on my life and the decisions I had made regarding the “weeds of life.” Oh, how I wish I would have asked the Lord His opinion in my situations—His wisdom—instead of running off with my own brilliant conclusions. Many times I whacked off the top of the problem, but didn’t get to the root of what caused it. And, of course in time, the issue (head of the weed) came up again because the root was still there. (Proverbs 14:12; Isaiah 48:17; Hebrews 10:19-23)
As I contemplated the water solution to those mustard weeds, I remembered the verse in Ephesians 5 where God says He “cleanses us with the washing of water by the Word.” As I read the Bible and allow His words to saturate my soul, I’m finding that the hard places in my heart are being softened. (Ephesians 5:25-27)
I’ve also discovered the reason I wanted to make my own decisions—I had a trust issue. This issue was the head of the “weed.” And the root of that weed? Fear.
I finally understood 1 John 4:18 and “perfect love casts out fear.” I’m learning the more I focus on my relationship with Him (reading His Word, letting His Spirit guide my thoughts, talking to Him and asking Him questions, etc.), the more my trust in Him builds. That trust is developing into love for Him and a revelation of His perfect love—His unconditional love. (Proverbs 3:5-6; Lamentations 3:24-25)
Day by day, I’m letting my opinion get lost in His. Contrary roots are disappearing, setting me free, and bringing His amazing peace—the good life. (Galatians 5:1)
Shara Bueler-Repka is enjoying life as a singer/songwriter/recording artist, freelance writer, and award-winning author. She and her husband, Bruce, live in their living quarters horse trailer and call “home” wherever their rig is parked. Their mail-base, however, is Hallettsville, Texas. She also loves riding/ministering with her husband and their horses (aka The Boys) in the backcountry and writing about God’s grace in the various adventures on the trail less-traveled. Join the fun and be encouraged on their website: www.ponyexpressministry.com and her blog: www.trail-tails.blogspot.com, or come for a visit on Facebook.