Last week ended with a few really crummy “people days.” There were multiple “can I just have five minutes of your time” that morphed into 30-40 minutes of complaining, mostly about other people. There were a few discussions with individuals that walked that fine line between encouragement and instruction versus disappointment and criticism. Then Saturday I was suddenly inundated with emails, texts and voicemails about another situation where Christians cannot get along or figure out what it means to love one another.

So here is what this pastor, this spiritual giant did – I ignored the emails, texts and phones calls and went out to cut my grass.

That was not what I had planned for that afternoon. And I ended up mowing my lawn and that of the neighbors on either side (including edging and trimming) and weeding the heck out of my yard – but that is what I do sometimes when I get overwhelmed with how selfish and self-centered people can be – I cut the grass.

By the time I got to the weeding element, I was already drenched in sweat and stinking tired. As I sat pulling the weeds, one ugly clump at a time, I became aware of how angry I was at the weeds – and the Lord brought these verses to mind:

“Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles (and weeds) for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground…”

I think God brought these verses from Genesis 3 to my awareness as a way of letting me know that the weeds are His reminder of the reason we people are the way we are – sin. And there is no one to blame but ourselves.

Thankfully, the Lord did not leaving me despairing in a pool of sweat. He also reminded me of the promise that the offspring of the woman would crush Satan’s head and rescue me from the penalty of my sin.

My time toiling in the yard really helped – mostly because God met me in the weeds to remind me of His love for me – and for all of those sending emails, texts and voicemails.

Pastor Jim

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