Given May 28, 2011
At the bidding of my lovely wife and having a beautiful day forcast, I endeavored on this Saturday to remove an overgrown forsythia bush that had engulfed the bottom of my yard. It was probably 20 feet across and I knew the base of it was in there somewhere. So with my chainsaw and work gloves ready, I devised a plan to attack this monster. I would enter the side of the bush and make my way to the center, cut the branches at the base and drag the whole mess away freeing the bottom of my yard to grow grass again. Sounded like a good plan.
However, as I entered the confines of the plant, I discovered that the small, narrow branches were like tentacles that inter-twined around and through each other, some stretching some 10 feet from the center of the bush to the outside. I could not just push the branches apart and go to the base. I would have to pull each branch out, separating them to make my path. This was too hard so I cranked up the saw and went to cutting. I began to make progress cutting my path but was getting opposition. The inter-twined branches, though cut, would not just fall to the ground but stuck out, with sharp points, attacking me as I progressed. I could not move them out of the way because of their togetherness and whereever they touched the ground, thay had rooted themselves so they were resisting me from both ends!
As I was getting more and more frustrated with the whole battle, the Lord spoke to me and gave me a revelation and thus the topic of this post. As I stood there in the middle of this giant forsythia bush, bleeding from the sharp pointed cut branch ends, and realizing how hard this job had become, God showed me this bush was like sin in our lives. At one point, this monstrous bush was one little branch that had become rooted in my yard. Maybe it had been planted by a wind-blown seed or maybe it was purposly planted. But if it was an unwanted plant, it could have been uprooted or controlled by pruning years ago. However, being allowed to grow on its own without attention, this beautiful bush has become a monster and had taken over the bottom of my yard. Just like sin will do in our lives. And as I tried to control it now, years later, it was a great battle. Like sin, allowed to grow uncontrolled, it had become almost too big to handle. It had inter-twined itself adding strength to itself and continued its march outward. Oh, it is very pretty in the spring when those small yellow flowers are in full bloom but the flowers fade and the bush remains.
However, after much work, I emerged bleeding and exhausted victorious over the sin-bush. God’s message to me and you is this: don’t allow sin into your life to take root. Even though it looks pretty and is no problem when it is small, left unattended, it will grow into a monster that is difficult to eradicate. And this is also true with things in our lives that are not sin but things that take prescedence over God. Nip them in the bud! “..but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” (James 1:14-15).
Is forsythia evil? Of course not but sin is and if we don’t pay attention to our desires, they can become uncontrollable and very difficult to get rid of. The rest of the story is this, even though I was victgorious over the growing bush, I now have a great pile of four inter-twined pieces of forsythia to dispose of; the consequences of my inattention to the problem. I’ve got more work to do…in the yard and in my life. Is there a forsythia bush in your life that needs work? Begin dealing with it today! Be blessed!