Saturday, June 10, 2017

What do flowers and sin have in common?

This past winter I looked out the kitchen window into my backyard. Most of the plants and trees looked so brown, desolate and boring. In the Spring everything gets so green, flowers spring up and the yard is in bloom with the colors of pink, lavender and white. On that morning looking out the big picture window,  I noticed some pretty purple flowers growing in the bushes. Looking closely I knew what they were. They were weeds disguised as flowers that had wound their way up through the bushes to the top. They looked so pretty and I decided to just let them grow. What harm could they do? After all they made the yard look pretty.

This morning, I looked out that same window and saw my "Pink Breath of Heaven" bushes covered in weeds. I went outside and on closer inspection, the long shoots of the weeds were now twisted tightly through the branches and leaves of my plants. What started out as small and beautiful was now choking the life out of my plants. The weeds were massive with thick roots and had taken over. The plants were no longer what they started out to be, they were now covered in something harmful to them.

Just like the weed disguised as a flower, this is how sin enters our life. It often starts out as something small that attracts our attention. We allow it into our lives thinking it is harmless but then it begins to take root and has us so wrapped up in it that we can't get out and sometimes don't even remember how we got there in the first place. It begins to destroy the person who God intended us to be.

I am reminded of "The Parable of the Sower " which tells the story of a sower who scatters seed, that falls on four different types of ground.

 Matthew 13:1-9.
"That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear." 

The hard ground prevents the seed from sprouting. The stony ground provides enough soil for the seeds to germinate and begin to grow, but the plants do not take root and are soon withered in the sun. The thorny ground allows the seed to grow,  but the thorns choke the life out of the plants. The good ground receives the seed and produces much fruit.

Jesus’ explained this parable in verses 18-23.

18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path.20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

In verse 22, the seed falling among the thorns represents one who seems to receive the Word, whose heart is full of riches, pleasures, and lusts; the things of this world take his time and attention away from the Word, and he ends up having no time for it. 

We can allow sin to destroy us or we can ask God to help us remove the sin from our lives. Just like the weeds tangled up in my bushes, I was able to slowly untangled the mess that they were in and allow them to heal. God can do that in our lives if we just submit to him and repent from our sin. There is no sin too great that God cannot forgive. He can make beauty from ashes. He is our Abba Father who loves us and created us to be in fellowship with Him. There is nothing in this world that can make a person happier than having a relationship with Him and allowing Him to guide us.


David S. said...


Excellent word and memorable image. I love it. I am moved by what you wrote.

Sharli Schaitberger said...

Hi Lori, what a great illustration. I will be thinking about this all day.

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