On my walk to the church building, I've been noticing a sand-bur here or there the past couple of weeks. Usually, I only notice one when it catches my sandal or gets caught in Jackson's pants leg. Having only been stuck by a couple, I didn't really think we had a problem. Little did I know, until I started looking, I did not know how bad of a problem we really have.
As I walked my pathway to the building, I noticed clump another clump of very mature sand-bur producing weeds. I pulled one and saw another; pulled it and found another. I pulled sand-burs for quite awhile, until it was too dark to see them or snakes. I thought I pulled so many that there wouldn't be many left for me to finish in the morning. Then, Saturday morning, I went out to finish the job. Wrong again.
In the morning light, it was easy for me to see how big the infestation is. At that point, I pulled the rest of the noticeable clumps from my path and decided to come back to the others. Since I had only noticed the weed in that part of the yard, my thinking was I could get some help and pull them before they spread to another area.
That afternoon, I took Scott with me to the backyard. We each had a laundry basket full of wet sheets and towels to hang on our clothes lines. Low and behold, when I went to hang a towel, I was stuck by a sand-bur! I looked down, and all around were giant clumps of sand-burs. Keep in mind, this is in a completely different area than the other sand-burs. There is even a structure in between the areas. As I looked down, I quickly became aware as to how vast of a sand-bur problem we have. There are way too many for one or two people to pull in any short amount of time. Scott ended up hanging almost all of the towels and sheets while I pulled sand-burs. I cleared a pretty big area under the clothesline, but there were many more left. My fingers became sore, and I was overwhelmed by all of the work left to do.
As I was uprooting the problem, and pulling stickers from my fingertips and toes, I began thinking...
How long will it be before I can go barefoot again?
Where did these all come from?
How did they become such a problem without me ever noticing?
How can I fix this problem?
The questions go on and on (just like the pain in my fingertips).
I then started thinking about other problems that kind of creep up. Things like dirty dishes in the sink and laundry that needs put away, and serious things, such as jealousy and greed. At first, it's just a want or desire for something you don't have and before long you're bitter towards anyone who has what you can't get, or you spend all of your time chasing after the Jones's and you miss out on the important things.
When I take time to stop, and really look at my life, I realize it's often full of sand-burs too. The closer I look, the more I see how vast my problem is. I know you know what I mean. I'm pretty sure we all, at one point or another, find ourselves looking at the shambles of our life wondering , "Where did this all come from? How did it get so bad without me noticing? What can I do to fix it?"
Fortunately, there is an answer to our problems. It's Jesus, pure and simple. He has the ability to fix our problems. If we let Him, He'll do more than mow over our issues. He'll help us dig out the burs from the root. This doesn't mean it is an easy solution. It's far from easy. Just like my sand-bur infested lawn, it will take a lot of time, a lot of hard work, and some soreness to rid a life of the painful weeds that creep up and take over. It may take awhile, and it may hurt, but the end result will be more than worth it!