Rooted in Faith—Withstanding the Weed Eater Attacks
By: Mary Elder-Criss
We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed---. 2 Corinthians 4: 8,9
Nothing disturbs my well laid plans more than hearing my husband utter the dreaded words, “I think I’ll mow the lawn.” Jerry with a weed eater in his hand should be classified as a deadly weapon; at least for my flowers. I have often awakened from nightmares in which he is glibly destroying all that is in his path with one well aimed swipe.
The latest victims of his overzealous weeding were my wild irises. I had planted them in a flower bed; sure that it was a protected environment. Imagine my horror then, when I came outside to discover one clump of them sheared off to the ground. Spiky green leaves lay sadly shredded, bleeding their chlorophyll green into the soil.
I couldn’t help myself. I screamed. Loudly..
“What? Huh? What’s wrong?” My husband wore a look of utter panic upon his face. His loving mate of thirteen years had run into the house for a quick errand, and had been replaced by a screaming, wailing banshee. He immediately realized he had erroneously cut something down he shouldn’t have.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING??” I howled in agony. “YOU JUST CUT DOWN MY IRISES!!”
“Irises?” he responds in complete confusion. He begins looking around for something with blooms lying on the ground, shredded. In his mindset, if it isn’t blooming, it isn’t a flower. Unfortunately, the reason most of them aren’t blooming is because they never get the chance. He mows them down before they ever reach that stage.
“RIGHT THERE!” I point, still screeching in anger and disbelief.
“You mean those things that look like grass?” he questions incredulously.
“They didn’t look like grass, for crying out loud! They looked like irises ATTEMPTING to grow before you mowed them down! Good grief, they have only been planted in that spot now for four years. What is wrong with you? I go inside and leave you alone for ten seconds…just ten seconds, and I come back to discover you’ve done it again!”
My anger was complete. I was literally fuming. I was so upset with him that I confiscated his weed eater, and wouldn’t speak to him the rest of the day.
Every time I looked at the damage he had wrought, I felt sick to my stomach. Since that unprecedented pruning a month ago, he has not been allowed around my flower beds with his instrument of death.
I receive great enjoyment from my flowers. I buy annuals for my containers and borders, but most of my beds contain perennials, flowers that I can look forward to returning each year. I examine them every morning while the dew is still cool on the grass, looking for new bloom.
Yesterday morning’s inspection caused me great delight. I awoke to find my previously hacked irises full of buds, almost ready to bloom. They had recovered enough from the weed eater attack to still bring beauty, even if they were a foot shorter than their counterparts.
It takes more than attacking the surface to kill the roots. Although my flowers had been wounded, the root system was still strong enough for new blooms to flourish.
This reminds me of how Satan attacks. He also assaults by targeting surface areas. He may attack our finances, our health, our jobs, marriages, families, and our belongings. Yet he never truly seems to understand that cutting the blooms doesn’t kill the roots.
If we look to Job for an example, we will see this clearly. Satan attacked Job’s character, he took away his property and his children, and he attacked Job’s health. Job’s three friends began to question his integrity and his wife taunted him to curse God and die. Yet in the end, Job’s roots ran deep. Although he lost the blossom, his deep seated faith in God did not wither. As a result, Job’s blessings were restored doubly.
My irises were struck down, but they were not destroyed. The same holds true for us when we face Satan’s attacks. Thank God for His word that takes seed in our heart, and produces lasting fruit. Thank God for the roots that keeps us grounded in Him, and allows us to withstand the devil’s tools of destruction. Keeping our faith deeply planted in Him will always allow new growth to flourish.
Now if I could only make my husband understand that weed eaters were intended for good, not evil.
As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith. Colossians 2: 6, 7a
ARGH!!!! Mary, not the irises?!!!! ;-) Three cheers though for their tenacity! Hope they put on a wonderful show when they come into bloom (ban Jerry from using the weedeater when they do though). Loved the story and loved the connection. Being married to a gardener, it's not something I really have a problem with (unless he chooses to weed out one of my favourites that he doesn't like). With love, Deb