I didn't have a lot of time for gardening today, but I did want to secure the border around what I hope will be my wildflower bed in front of my kitchen window. And I wanted to pull the thorns that stab me while I'm walking out to the vegetable garden. My neighbor wanted to borrow the weed whacker, and I asked if while she had it out she could clear a path to the garden gate for me. (She lives on our property.) She did it, and what a difference it made in my morale. It left me free to pull the thorns crowding the fence and the gate on both sides. And I was reminded again about how deeply rooted those weeds are. Some of the mustard and thorns have as much below the ground as above. They are really tough to pull out unless the ground is just right. It has to be soft enough to get the fork shovel in deep enough to pry the ground with the embedded weeds up, and then loose enough so I can bang the roots against the fence to get the clinging soil back in the ground.
If we want to get deeply embedded sin, the weeds in our hearts, out, our hearts also need to be just right. It's an effort to free even a Spirit-softened heart of embedded sins and habits. It's almost impossible to get them out of a hard heart that has not left itself open to the soft rain of God's convicting Spirit. One can try to pull them and pry them, but the tops just break off, leaving at least part of the root to spring back to life when temptations come. Weeds are easiest to pull when the ground is soft and loose and the weeds are still very small. The longer we allow them to grow, the larger they get and the deeper the root. It took little effort today to pull the tiny weeds trying to poke their heads out from mulch-covered ground. If we mulch our hearts with God's word, let the gentle rain of his Spirit fall on it, and begin ridding our hearts of sin before it can take deep root, we are more likely to cultivate pure hearts and see God more clearly.