In our garden areas around the church, we have all kinds of flowers growing: California wild flowers, geraniums, hydrangeas, lavender, roses, african lillies, and more. But there is one flower that had kind of taken over and has become a problem and that is a pinkish flower call the “four o-clock flower,” named for the time of the day that the flower opens up. The problem with this flower is that it drops these little tiny beads that fall into the garden and grow new flowers- so many that it takes over a small flowerbed. In the past, people simply chopped them all down when they took over, but they never went down to the root to remove them and today, we have hundreds growing around our property. The ground here in our area is dry and very rocky, and the roots grow deep, so we spend a great deal of time with a pickaxe trying to chisel sections out so that we can reach the roots. The roots of a four o-clock flower are supposed to be the size of a carrot or small potato but many of the ones that we have been finding are a foot long and have many sections growing off of them. What has surprised us is when we start digging in one section to uproot one, we find several more that were hiding that had not yet showed signs of being there. It is rewarding when we get them free of the soil and are able to remove them permanently. Prayerfully, they will not come back.
Proverbs 28:13: He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.
The whole process of removing these plants reminds me of sin. We can get rid of the problems that everyone sees but the root is still growing deep within us and if we really want to get rid of the sin, we have to dig deep and with great effort pull it out and discard it from our lives. It may be easier to simply cover them up and consider them at another time but we will never be rid of our sin if we make room for it in our lives. Once the sins are removed, we feel relieved and closer in our walk with the Lord. Prayerfully, those sins are gone forever and will not come back.