By BARBARA LOWNSBURY
Did I spend time with God? You bet. But it didn’t feel like it. I read the scriptures, I wrote my response and I prayed, but God’s comforting presence didn’t seem to pierce through my morning moodiness. I just felt off.
Grabbing another hot cup of caffeinated courage, I hopped into my car and headed to the gym, hoping a good workout would shake the cobwebs loose from my heart and mind. Jumping around, lifting and stretching, all to loud, upbeat jams, did nothing to lift my mood. I felt flat from the inside out.
Finally, I prayed to God again and said, “Lord, something’s not right. I have no idea what it is, but I can tell something is off within my spirit. Please bring to the surface whatever this root of unhappiness is. I need your help!”
Just a few minutes later, I got a call from my dearest friend (I call my closest relationships my “Wise Advisors”). As we started talking, she started drawing me out, and before long I was in tears. Ahh, I thought. There’s the pesky root that’s dragging me down today. Fear!
See, as a believer God has healed A LOT in my life. The soil of my heart has been cleaned and prepared for growth. But even the most lush of gardens get weeds in them, and weeds have to be pulled out by the root, brought to the surface and placed into the light to die off so the good plants can live and flourish. This morning, I found a big ‘ole ugly weed. I am in a season of deep joy and for some reason, I had this fear of the other proverbial shoe dropping and kicking the joy out of my life. I was afraid to feel this happy, this peaceful, so the broken pieces inside tried to grab me and take me down a notch by reminding me of all the ugly I have experienced in my past. It reminds me of the scripture in Matthew 13:19-23 (TPT):
“The seed that fell on the beaten path represents the heart of the one who hears the message of the kingdom realm but doesn’t understand it. The Adversary then comes and snatches away what was sown into his heart. The seed sown on gravel represents the person who gladly hears the kingdom message, but his experience remains shallow. Shortly after he hears it, troubles and persecutions come because of the kingdom message he received. Then he quickly falls away, for the truth didn’t sink deeply into his heart. The seed sown among weeds represents the person who receives the message, but all of life’s busy distractions, his divided heart, and his ambition for wealth result in suffocating the kingdom message and prevent him from bearing spiritual fruit. As for the seed that fell upon good, rich soil, it represents the hearts of people who hear and fully embrace the message of heaven’s kingdom realm. Their lives bear good fruit—some yield a harvest of thirty, sixty, even one hundred times as much as was sown.”
So the next time you feel “off” or under attack, consider reaching into your spiritual arsenal and let God Himself begin rooting out the weeds in your heart. I know after I dealt with the root God exposed to me and brought it into the light, I felt so much better. My peace and joy were restored. I bet yours will be, too. Just remember that some weeds are stubborn, and take time, care and patience to pull out. But God is the master gardener. He always knows just how to help once we seek Him.
FOR FURTHER THOUGHT My friend shared a scripture with me this morning that I’d like to share with you. Psalms 1:1-3 says, “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.”
PRAYER Lord, You are so faithful to me. You may not always answer in my timing, but You always answer me. Thank you! Your extravagant love and the words of truth You speak over me are so powerful. You chase away the demons and the lies with Your glorious truth. Your goodness and faithfulness overwhelm me sometimes in the best of ways. I love You, Papa. Thank You for choosing me before time began, and thank You for caring enough to root out the weeds in the soil of my heart. Amen.
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