Posted by: Beth | January 2, 2021



Mama and Daddy showed me a trick while we were pulling weeds in the garden.

Some weeds are just bothersome and steal nutrients from the soil.  Others, like saw briers, can hurt you, especially if you’re wearing shorts and looking anywhere other than where your legs are going. Sometimes they’ll scratch you even though you’re standing still, looking at it, and trying to safely maneuver by. If you’re moving veeerryyy slowly, you can back up as soon as you feel the first pricks of the brier.  If you’re moving along at a walking pace, you can stop, carefully grab the end of the branch, and back away.  If you’re running, you’re cut and in pain before you can do anything about it.

Saw briers have little thorns all along the branches, from just barely above the ground to the tips.  Why are they called saw briers?  Because it can cut you like a saw blade – at least it feels that way.  During the winter those pricklies are easily visible, but in the summer pretty, green leaves hide the little scratchers.

Anyway, Mama and Daddy first taught us how to recognize the weeds versus the young vegetable plants.  Then they taught us to pull up the weed from ground level and to be sure to get the ROOT.  If you just pull the tops of the crabgrass or ragweed or whatever, you simply have a bigger weed to pull up/scratch up with the hoe in a week or so.  But how can you pull up something that is prickly down to the ground?  Simple.  You scratch around in the dirt until you see enough of the root to grab onto. Wahlah! Saw brier is uprooted and no longer a problem. Just be careful where you throw it and how or it will get you on its way to dying.

Even if you’ve never touched a saw brier plant, I bet you have some in your life.  There is something that drags you down; overwhelms you; beats you up physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually – or in every way. We try all kinds of ways to get rid of problems in our lives.  We talk about it with friends.  We pray about it.  We take action.  We go to counseling. We fret and worry. We deal with the consequences, often some unforeseen and unintended, of our actions. We take it to court. All of those can be beneficial.  The question of the day is …. does it get to the root of the problem or does it make things look better, only to grow into bigger problems later?

I sat this morning fretting over some junk happening around me, and it dawned on me (interestingly, right at dawn) that the root of most of the problems is they need Jesus.  They don’t need head knowledge.  They need day-to-day walking with Jesus and growing to be more like him.  It changed my prayers.  Made them more focused.  And what will that do?  If I’ll listen, I’ll hear from God.  Probably not audibly like a voice on the radio, but he will speak quietly to my heart.  He will give me words to say and things to do to help them walk with Jesus.

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. – Colossians 2:6-7 NLT


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