Thorns and Thistles
Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘Do not eat from it’: The ground is cursed because of you. You will eat from it by means of painful labor all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. CBS
The battle never ends. I despise them—prickly thistles and the vicious thorns of the Locust tree that thrive in East Texas pastures. Both sprout and spread without need of fertilizer or rain. Removing them requires fortitude along with lots of sweat and personal protection. Realizing they resulted from Adam’s sin frees me to vent my frustration and out-right anger. They just don’t belong here!
We recently found someone equipped to remove three, thorn-filled Locust trees. He explained the importance of ‘pulling up as many of the roots as possible and then strategically poisoning the remaining ones. If we don’t address the roots, the sprouts will form many more trees turning the removed tree into a grove of trees!
His strategy for tackling thorn trees reminded me of how God addresses sinful patterns of behavior in my life. Instead of just feeling bad about my sin, I must find Spirit-filled fortitude to confront it head on. I usually discover that “removal” entails more than just acknowledging the issue and repenting. It also requires digging for the root of the problem. What’s really going on in my heart? How can I prevent more sinful actions from springing forth?
When I find myself needing to confront negative behavior in my life, I usually discover I’ve neglected reading God’s Word and talking to Him about my concerns. Assuming that I’m capable of facing a day in my own strength often lies just below the surface of my thinking. As a result, my attitude’s grown prickly and thorns sprout from my thoughts and words. Changing patterns of sinful thoughts or actions requires a strategic plan just like tackling thistles and thorn trees.
Thank you Father that You have a plan in place for the thorns and thistles in my heart. Thank You for providing the Holy Spirit to guide me to repentance and to encourage me in the process. I want my life to bring glory and honor to You instead of reflecting the ways of the world.