Tag Archives: weeds

1 Samuel 24; 1 Corinthians 5; Ezekiel 3; Psalm 39

There is something bigger at stake than removing a threat.

After Saul returned from fighting the Philistines, he was told that David had gone into the wilderness of En-gedi. So Saul chose 3,000 elite troops from all Israel and went to search for David and his men near the rocks of the wild goats. (1 Samuel 24:1, NLT)

Saul leaves one fight to pursue another. Could his heart ever be satisfied? Would the threats ever stop tormenting him? Is he the hunter or the hunted?

David’s in a cave with a force behind him. They encourage him–a deliverance of a sort that could be settled in that instant. I watch David from the shadows and hold my breath as he reaches forward and cuts a piece of Saul’s robe. David’s conscience speaks to him–because there is something bigger at stake than removing a threat.

War and gore weren’t new to these men; they were both fighters and leaders–whether for better or worse. What was it fueling Saul? What was it holding David back? While this story reads like a suspense, today, I look past opposing forces and see the heart.

***

A garden untended in a summer gone too fast, and weeds are up to my waist in some places. I climb over the rocky bases and grasp and pull at thorny mile-a-minute, weak-rooted Japanese stiltgrass, and other varieties I know by familiarity than by name–ones that reach, embed, choke out nearby azalea and lilac. This year, I get half through and don’t finish. I think about emotions in a grieving process. I look at the weeds and how quickly they’ve taken over a space. Some being light, but persistent. Others, painful to touch. Some, likely poisonous and tormenting. It is work to remove them. I know the longer I neglect the process, the worse it will become.

I said to myself, “I will watch what I do
    and not sin in what I say.
I will hold my tongue
    when the ungodly are around me.”
But as I stood there in silence—
    not even speaking of good things—
    the turmoil within me grew worse.
The more I thought about it,
    the hotter I got,
    igniting a fire of words:
Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
    Remind me that my days are numbered—
    how fleeting my life is.
You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.
    My entire lifetime is just a moment to you;
    at best, each of us is but a breath.” (Psalm 39:1-5, NLT)

At best, a breath.

I got the proof for my parents’ grave marker yesterday–names and dates.

We are merely moving shadows,
    and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.
We heap up wealth,
    not knowing who will spend it.
And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?
    My only hope is in you. (Psalm 39:6-7, NLT)

My only hope is in you.

***

The voice said to me, “Son of man, eat what I am giving you—eat this scroll! Then go and give its message to the people of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and he fed me the scroll. “Fill your stomach with this,” he said. And when I ate it, it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth. (Ezekiel 3:1-3, NLT)

Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us. So let us celebrate the festival, not with the old bread of wickedness and evil, but with the new bread of sincerity and truth. (1 Corinthians 5:7b-8, NLT)

Lord, I turn to your word. It fills me and instructs me. It is a feast, and I celebrate the new bread of sincerity and truth.

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Uncategorized

Genesis 41; Matthew 13:1-32

Faith (that’s her name) loves Jesus and trusts him as wholeheartedly as I have ever seen a living human do. At age 82, she travels to Bangladesh to help run the mission orphanage, clinic and women’s work center. In a conversation with her, she told me of a story representative of the difficulties that they face. She had flown in from the States and was taking the 6-8 hour drive to the mission. Dead tired, she fell asleep on the bus. In a panic, her companions woke her when their bus came to a halt. A rioting crowd had seized the bus ahead of them and set it on fire. Faith’s response was that she had nothing else to offer them as Jesus was in control of the situation and begged to go back to sleep. Long and short of it was that they got to the mission safely. Deep down, I want my friend’s incredible trust and love for Jesus. I want faith like hers.

“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.”  Matthew 13:31-32

It’s no accident that the parable of the mustard seed is preceded by parables about the Sower and the Weeds. My friend and I have been given the mustard seed of faith. She’s tended her garden well over the years. Her faith has grown  into  an incredible tree that offers shelter to widows and orphans.  Jesus is alive and well in her corner of Bangladesh. Her life and the words of Jesus challenge me to look at the “soil” of my life.

What weeds and rocks need to go? What’s in the garden that resists growth? Maybe it’s a quick fix: too much tv, too much time on the internet (pull the plug). Maybe it’s more deeply rooted weeds: self pity, envy or judgement. Maybe it’s something more along the lines of what Joseph had to let go of: bitterness and pain. I am sure is looks differently for each one of us. Whatever it is, I want those obstacles to growth exposed and out so that there is more room for wonder of God’s grace at work. May it be so.

klueh

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament