This morning I went out to water my garden and decided to get down to serious business eradicating the squash borer that I was certain had infected my plants. I had been able to ignore the damage at the base of the plants because the tops were lush and beautiful. A sight to behold for my gardener's heart. But when I pulled the leaves back, this is what I saw:
This is not my actual plant, but I can't get my personal image uploaded. This is pretty close. The plant was smelly at the base and just all mushy. Gross.
Big sigh. Then I got to work. Put on long sleeves and long pants with socks and tennis shoes so I could get in there without feeling all the creepy crawlies around me. My tools were straight pins, a bottle of insecticidal soap (home made) and a paring knife. I pulled off the nasty stuff, dug around with the knife and was successful three times getting the borer out. The other times I stabbed around a bunch with the pins and prayed it had helped some. Sometimes, I had to even cut off good stems to see where I was going. Frustrating to say the least.
And then my sweet morning conversations with God. He's so good to me. He gets my frustration. He hates sin as much as I hate those borers. More.
And here's the deal: hidden sin is the worst. Why? Because it's doing damage on the inside while everything looks great on the outside. Until it's too late. Your life and/or relationships are either beyond repair or you have to do some serious amputation for it to even have a chance.
The interesting thing for me is the borers were in my plants last year, but I didn't know to look for them, or rather what I was looking for. The signs were there, but I missed them. This year, I had help. Someone to talk to and tell me the truth. (Of course, even then I waited because it was hot and I was being lazy, or because I had other things to distract me and take up my time. Sound familiar?)
The same is true for us as Christ followers. If we aren't in God's word, we don't know what to look for. If we don't have accountability, some one to be honest with us and that we can be honest with, sin can very easily stay hidden and continue damaging. And even then, getting rid of it can be hard, takes time, and lots of digging. Don't give up.
"And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes and be thrown into hell." Mark 9:47
By the way, my plants look ugly now. I had to push them over and every which way so I could see and I can't get them to stand up straight again. But, I might get some veggies now! Because if there is no fruit, what good is a beautiful plant?