Wednesday, May 04, 2011
When You Feel Like a Weed Pile
See that ugly thing?
That's our weed pile.
For two years I've dumped weeds of all sorts on that pile, ugly, brambly, sticky, prickly weeds get tossed there along with assorted broken twigs, cardboard and newspaper.
I've always thought it was ugly, wished I could hide it or just carry all weeds out to our woods but if I did that, I'd die. That's quite a hike, would involve hundreds of trips out there and would exhaust me, especially since I've got lots of other chores to do around the yard. Always.
Yes, it's ugly. Always has been.
But guess what? Last week,underneath all the weeds and the ugliness, I discovered something of beauty. What was it? Dark, rich compost made possible by all that natural heat underneath burning away the weeds and their pesky seeds and leaving, instead, tons of lovely, useful soil to mix with garden dirt and add richness to ground depleted of nutrients.
Got the lesson yet? Sometimes we all feel (and maybe even look) like weed piles.
We feel like everybody is dumping weeds and junk upon us. People everywhere tell us bad news. Appliances break down, things get lost or broken. Family and friends share their complaints. People point out our mistakes and tell us what's wrong with us. Repeatedly. We long to do things right, but we fail. Daily. God even spends time convicting us, but we turn it into condemnation--and hang our heads.
Then, just when we think we're getting it, like we're finally doing great, speeding along on track and understanding what God is doing, suddenly! Bad things fall upon us all at once. Whoosh! Like a big load of weeds just buried us again. And we see it as a bad thing, something to get through, something to survive.
But oh, underneath it all--when we keep open hearts and learn our lessons--something wonderful is happening. The Refiner's fire is burning, turning the junk, the weeds into something lovely, usable and valuable. Something which can be spread and shared with souls who feel so depleted of anything good. People who have given up. People who don't understand what is happening during the weed pile stages of their lives.
Deep down inside us there is a fire burning, even when all the weeds dumped upon us feel more real. But true faith walks by the light of things unseen, not by sight. True faith always learns, always grows and always believes that there's new life being formed in secret, unseen places where God never stops working.
All He asks is that--while He's creating--we don't run from the heat, don't struggle away, but instead, let the fire do its purifying work to make an eternal thing of usefulness and beauty.