Recently I took a glimpse around my yard and determined it could use a little something to pep it up. So I decided on flowers. Now, I may have green eyes or green stuff in the refrigerator and even a green lawn, but by no means do I possess a green opposable digit on either hand. So, I opted for a bag of wild flower seeds that pretty much grow on their own. All you do is till up some dirt, grab a hand full of seeds and throw them around. Then stand back and watch nature do her thing. Well, sort of.
A few weeks later I actually had flora adorning my fence line. I felt so proud. I strolled along beaming at all I had created. Then something across the fence caught my eye. Poking up among the thistles, briars and weeds were a few flowers of the type I had recently planted. As I remember, it had been a bit breezy the day of sowing. Some of the seeds apparently drifted over the fence. That was cool by me. Anything would improve the appearance of that derelict field.
A few days later as I displayed my handy work to a friend I noticed the flowers across the fence were already dying, almost dead in fact. The ones on my side were flourishing nicely even though I had not watered them once. There had been a couple of decent rain showers which seem to be all they desired. The wandering wild flowers had received the same nourishment yet they were withering away.
Out of the blue a bolt of ‘scripture lightning’ zapped my brain. I remembered a parable in fact on this very subject. Having read this passage several times I needed no concordance- so it only took about a half an hour to find it.
As I read the passage these words seemed to resonate deep within my soul- ‘He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.’ Matthew 13:22 KJV
I read the verses again. All of a sudden it hit me like a June bug on a windshield. When I finally composed myself enough to wipe the tears away I read them once more.
I had become that seed in the thorns.
Less than two years ago I was a church board member, men’s group leader and had submitted an application for a local minister’s license. My wife and I were teaching the teen Sunday school class and also holding a teen service each Thursday night at the juvenile lockup side of the county jail.
My wife began to have health issues which required many doctor’s visits, numerous tests and some stays at the hospital. Not to mention side effects from the various medications- and the bills.
Then serious issues with other close family members arose.
Next we were forced to move into another house due to mold that was complicating my wife’s recovery.
These among other difficulties of life gradually sneaked into and began to gain control over our lives.
Over a period of time I resigned my board position, passed on the men’s group leadership torch, gave up the teen class and eventually stopped going into the jail. Oh yeah, I took back the minister’s license application. All because I was convinced I could not spare the time and commitment these positions deserved. Each moment of every day was already distributed between work and family matters.
I continued to attend church, but mostly as a pew warmer.
The thorns of life had successfully rendered me ineffective.
Needless to say I did not waste time donning the knee pads. Nor did I stand until I was sure old man Thornseed was dead.
I have a way to go until I am as active in the Lord’s battle as before, but I am again headed in the right direction.
The enemy is very good at what he does. Do not underestimate his fox-like wit.
We do not have to be blown into the thorn bushes. Just be still for a moment. They will slowly creep up one by one all around right where you stand.
Are satan’s thorns choking you, sapping your spiritual energy? Take your petition to the master gardener and allow Him to remove the briars or maybe transplant you to the other side of the fence.
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