Weed-Wacker for the Soul

We’ve had recent rain where I live and it has sure greened-up the landscape. Perhaps that is why I was drawn to this Van Gogh painting. It shows a corner of the garden at the asylum in Saint-Rémy where Van Gogh lived for a time. At first glance, all you see are some tree trunks overgrown with ivy and patches of light on the ground. But if you look zoom in on this painting, all you see is a sea of loose frantic brushstrokes, short and surprisingly varied in color.

In my last house, I had a rogue ivy growing in my yard. I had to be diligent in getting rid of it because if I didn’t, it wrapped itself around my flowers and bushes and choked the life out of them.

Pulling the ivy out was only a temporary fix. It would eventually grow back. It wasn’t until I sprinkled plant killer on the root that the plant succumbed to my efforts.

The same goes for my life. The only way to combat the lies that this world wraps around my ankles is to sprinkle the truth of God on their root. This truth is found in the Word of God, and if I get disconnected from the Word of God, I find the world slowly chokes the life out of me.

There are two ways the lies of the world work on us. The first is through temptation, the second is through accusation.

Temptation is the enticement to do something that might not start out to be morally wrong but ends up becoming more important to us than God. It sounds like this: “Just do it. No one will know. God will still accept you. Remember he loves you.”

If you give in to the temptaion, it is usually followed by an accusation, which sounds like this: “Look at what you’ve done! See who you are? God can’t love you. The lie of temptation is that God is love, but he isn’t holy. The lie of accusation is that God is holy, but has no love.

So, what are we to do? In Ephesians 6, Paul calls the Word of God a sword. Perhaps I could change that to a Weed-Wacker (I’m sure Paul wouldn’t mind). God’s Truth in scripture whacks away at the lies that threaten to overtake us and choke the life out of us.

Being Human connection: The next time you are feeling disconnected from God and the lies of the world are crawling up your leg and threatening your heart, go to the Truth of God’s Word and do some weeding. Sprinkle God’s truth on the root of the lie. It will be good for the soul!

Featured Art: Vincent van Gogh, Trunks of Trees with Ivy, 1889, Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, Netherlands