A couple of weeks ago, I set out for the first lawn mowing of the spring. I don’t have a large lawn, but enough that I must block off a couple of hours to do it. So with my old lawn shoes thrown on and the iPod music rolling in my ears, I attacked the green. Trimming the sidewalk was a mighty chore. Ripping through the mile-high tumble grass wasn’t the easiest task, either. That’s when I noticed something. It wasn’t all tumble grass. There was a great variety of green weeds mixed in with it. In some patches, it was to the point of being exclusive. The same spring time sun and rain that had given life to the grass I wanted also birthed the weeds I did not. My time simply doesn’t allow for me to get into horticulture and put together a perfectly healthy lawn. The weeds are green, after all, so I am content to simply cut and trim.
And with that thought, I was immediately confronted with what was growing in my own heart and life. Like spring bursting into life around me, Jesus Christ has resurrected life in my heart through His own death and resurrection. I cannot comprehend it. That dark place was full of hard clay and rock – my own stubbornness and pride. The only life that found its way out of that dry piece of earth was a brier patch of thorns, cruel and twisted, sucking the life out of anything I might have had. But Christ’s love violently broke through the sinful earth that produced nothing of value to Him. My heart became soft, fertile, and lush from His tender plow. Where once a barren wasteland of wicked spread before me, a flowing field of green and life has burst.
This would all seem well and good – it is, in fact, more beautiful than I could ever imagine. But my adversary does what he always does. He takes what God creates and twists it to his own devices. Up from the ground that produces the works of righteousness God has always desired comes weeds of sinful habits. They disguise themselves well, taking on the same color and form of God’s pure plants. And much like the lawn of my house, I don’t have the time or desire to rid the ground of my heart of them. No one really sees them – my good works cover them nicely. All the while, they are choking the life out of works God intends to bloom.
So it must be with all those whom Christ has given new life. We all have our weeds of sin that need rooting out. Thankfully, Christ knows a few things about horticulture as it is the work of His hands. We must submit the lawn of our hearts to Him daily. He will pluck out those weeds by their roots. That, too, is a violent process. It will tear holes in our lives, expose areas in our lawns that no longer look so beautiful. But the hand that tears is also the hand that plants. Green, green grass of pure deeds glorifying to God growing in beautiful waves now have the soil disposed of that which would rob it of its nutrients. The lawn is so pure that the children can run through it barefoot, rolling in its soft embrace. That’s the heart I need.
Turns out the lawn outside my house needs tending to again tomorrow. The one in my heart could use a little of the same.