Several days ago the lovely roses pictured above were ugly, literally falling apart, and on the verge of death. I have babied these beauties for three years, patiently tending to them and trying my best to help them thrive. I enjoy sitting on my porch watching the butterflies, bees and hummingbirds swarming around them and bringing life to our yard.
I neglected my job of being a faithful gardener. I had a few busy days and I didn’t pay close attention to their appearance. I wasn’t even watering them and before I knew it , they were being destroyed. Right under my nose the enemy had snuck in.
This tiny pest, known as the Japanese Beetle, is a silvery shelled bug and by all appearances pretty to the eye. It was no bigger than my pinky fingernail and in my ignorance, I assumed by the look of it, that it was only an innocent little garden bug. That little bug quickly multiplied to many and soon I had a very big problem.
I had to pull out all my tools, research and gather knowledge on the enemy and read wise advice from others who’ve dealt with these little guys. I had to use the garden shears to start cutting away all that was dead to try and save the living root from being choked out. It took a lot of patience. I had to make the time every day to inspect and I had to be vigilant about it. I had to keep my eyes open to look for any signs that the destroyer was trying to sneak back in.
I realized that this was another of life’s lessons. The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” Now I realize not every work of the enemy is visible, it’s those small things that sneak in that can destroy us. Bitterness, envy, hatred, unloving attitude , selfishness, etc. Our mind is a battlefield. We must take every thought captive like we’re told in 2 Corinthians 10:5.
Even things that appear pretty (like the shimmering Japanese Beetle) may not be for our good. If in any way we feel pulled away from the Savior or that something doesn’t line up with the Word of God, then we need to start cutting away that dead bud before it blooms.
Don’t forget that we must show ourselves grace and realize we are a work in progress. Before long we’ll be blossoming again and be the healthy and beautiful souls that God intends us to be.
“Take the very hardest thing in your life – the place of difficulty, outward or inward, and expect God to triumph gloriously in that very spot. Just there He can bring your soul into blossom. ” ~ Parables of the Cross, Lilias Trotter
Praying for you!