Pulling weeds is an endless chore that can aid in mental recovery when meditating on Scripture and keeping a song in your heart. Or, it can become a negative-packed hour or two that sucks life from your spirit, empowering bitterness and presenting a scowl to passersby.
As I struggled with the chore recently, I became spellbound in negativity, dwelling on all I had lost, especially with the misfortune of my favorite neighbors moving away. My gaze wandered over to the empty home wishing to see a truck parked out front or the sounds of a deep “woof-woof” coming from inside the house, and even more than that to hear the little boy’s voice that would holler out, “Excuse me,” to get my attention.
While misplaced in my pessimism, I saw a young woman round the corner of the street pushing a stroller weighed down with two little ones, and her hand grasping a leash with a chocolate colored doggie that seemed to know how to mind his manners. She stopped to greet me and informed me she was a new neighbor on the main road of my subdivision. I’m not sure how sour the reception sounded but I did share the heartbreak of losing, now, three different neighbors since moving into our home just a year ago. As she continued her walk, my eyes caught sight of something that made me bow in shame.
Smack dab in my largest flower bed in the front lawn for the whole world to see, was my brightly colored sign: “thank you, Jesus”!
As I rehearsed in my mind how unwelcoming and totally ungrateful my heart delivered that salutation to a new neighbor, I began to wonder just how many times my actions or verbiage had discredited what I was posting! The hard part is not really pulling weeds, but living every part of my day thinking, “thank you, Jesus.” I pray for the fruit of the Spirit to grow from the flowerbed of my heart, rather than those bitter weeds. And certainly, fixing my mind on the “Lily of the Valley”* will motivate the right salutations whether I encounter my neighbors on the street or through social media.
So, what is the “thank you, Jesus” sign in my yard really saying? And, how are you sharing your life with others? Does it say, “thank you, Jesus?”
*1 I have found a friend in Jesus, He’s everything to me,
He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul;
The Lily of the Valley, in Him alone I see
All I need to cleanse and make me fully whole.
In sorrow He’s my comfort, in trouble He’s my stay;
He tells me every care on Him to roll.
He’s the Lily of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star,
He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul.
2 He all my grief has taken, and all my sorrows borne;
In temptation He’s my strong and mighty tow’r;
I have all for Him forsaken, and all my idols torn
From my heart and now He keeps me by His pow’r.
Though all the world forsake me, and Satan tempt me sore,
Through Jesus I shall safely reach the goal. [Refrain]
3 He will never, never leave me, nor yet forsake me here,
While I live by faith and do His blessed will;
A wall of fire about me, I’ve nothing now to fear,
From His manna He my hungry soul shall fill.
Then sweeping up to glory to see His blessed face,
Where rivers of delight shall ever roll. [Refrain]