Believe it or not, my tomato plants are still hanging in there; yes, in December! Who knew?
But, something I am now contending with, is the over abundance of tomato-horn-worms. It’s the oddest thing. I had occasional ones during the summer months, but now, I’m finding multiples daily. They’re not easy to find, either. Their shape and color help them conceal and camouflage within the stalks of the plants. Left alone-they can destroy the entire crop.
Here’s the gross part—turn away if you don’t want to read—I smash or pull them apart when I find them. I have no other choice. I have to “take them out” when I find them, and in a way that they can’t come back or be part of the rest of the ecosystem of my garden. It’s just what it is. Poisons aren’t an option for my food growing; and honestly that seems more inhumane to me. I’m sorry to be blunt to those that want it differently, but gardening isn’t always the Instagram life.
And do you know what I think about when I have to do this?
The sin in our lives concealed and camouflaged, and multiplied. The sins that make themselves known, and the ones that don't—but still ever-present.
Sins that need to be taken out and thrown away.
This is where our faith turns into a spectator sport.
Where an integral part is needed.
A daily interaction...sin hunting, if you will.
To find the things we know clearly, that are outside God’s favor; to pick through that which can destroy and eat away. The areas we need to dive deeper into, that need removal.
We all know those things—no lists are needed here—it is the seeking out of what keeps us from a perfect God. Plain and simple. It is quite literally the finding, crushing, and repenting, of that which separates.
Sometimes, that action is ugly. Sometimes, it takes on the form of pulling apart and smashing, so none of it comes back. It’s the self-examinations and the hard searches, to get to the hidden parts that destroy. It’s the deeper reflections, to understand the shallow ways. It’s the magnifications, to expose the hiddens. It’s the willing, against the will.
King David wrote it best—Psalm 139:23:
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Friends, may I encourage you, as I do, to adopt this as a daily prayer. You won’t be perfect—that’s what the Cross was for—but you will be perfected. And that is where God wants to meet us. He wants us in a place where we seek to be perfected constantly. He wants to join us in the process of exposing and eliminating what is holding us back from Him. He wants us to do our part, so He can do His.
Seek out the sins.
Get rid of.
…Then watch what God will do!!
Precious Father, search me! Search my heart-my thoughts-my soul. Take it all, Lord! Take what is holding me back from you. Take what causes me to come up short of Your glory. Take what keeps us separated. Give me the willingness to do my part. Create in me a steadfast spirit to search always. Thank you precious Father.