Thursday, July 17, 2014

If I Ever See Any More Ivy . . .

When we first moved in, I loved the ivy that grew out of the raised flower bed in the backyard. It cascaded over the railroad ties that separated the garden from the grass. It was limited to the alternating corners between the pink, purple and white blooming ground cover that flooded over the sides as well.

This spring, seven years later, the ivy was everywhere.

I had not tried to tame it, so it grew and spread and spread and grew. Not having been pruned, the ivy was rapidly taking over the entire bed. The blooming ground cover only bloomed pink where the ivy had choked out the other two colors.

Not realizing what an ordeal it would be to clear a small area for a tomato plant or two, it took me two afternoons to cut and dig and tug and pull the ivy clear of just that space.

I looked at how clean and kept that portion of the bed appeared and realized that the ivy needed to be fought on a much larger scale. The romantic look that had once appealed to me had overwhelmed the entire garden to the point I realized that all the ivy needed to go.

Over the last few weeks as I have worked on ridding the garden of the ivy, I found that the pretty ivy had allowed poison ivy to grow beside it. Somehow the ivy didn't choke out the weeds, just the pretty things I had wanted to keep.

What a pain!

Spiritually, God has shown me that this is how sin infiltrates my life. At first it looks pretty and desirable. Then it chokes out the fruit and takes over. I have grown so accustomed to it that it no longer bothers me until I get a glimpse of what my life would be like without it having so much control, consuming so much time and attention. Ridding my life of these sins are never easy. I have to turn them over to the Master to help pull up the roots to prevent them from coming back.

I have literally filled 8 large compost bags of the ivy and weeds from this one flower bed. Honestly, I hope to never see another sprig of ivy again. Yet, I know I did not remove all the roots from the bed.

The ivy will come back.

I take courage in the knowledge that one day I won't have to fight the ivy of sin in my life anymore. So as I tackle the job again, I will rejoice that Christ won my battle over sin and death!

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