We turned a long patch of grass into a flower bed today.
We knew the grass would have to be removed in order to have a weed-free bed, and after significant research, we decided on a procedure for removing the grass problem that seemed the easiest and most economical for us. We purchased a cubic metre of triplemix and 12 meters of landscaping cloth. We then put about 10 cm of planting soil on the grass and covered it with the landscaping cloth. Now we wait. If all goes as planned, in 2-4 weeks, the grass will have rotted and its nutrients will have been returned to the soil.
As this is a new area for us, time will tell if it actually works. Meanwhile, it occurred to me how this is representative of the new life in Christ. Take a look…
Before we accept Christ as our Lord and Saviour, we are like the grassy area that interferes with our planting plans. We are sinners and we have a sinful nature.
Just as we used the landscaping cloth to kill the grass, when we accept Jesus as our Saviour, we take His righteousness as our own. The Bible teaches that we are covered by His robe of righteousness: “I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness…” (Is. 61:10 NASB).
But we didn’t just put down the landscape cloth. We also put the good soil between it and the grass. In the same way, we need to fill ourselves with good things. We can do this by reading the Bible, by spending time with God, by prayer, etc: “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” (Rom. 10:17 NIV)
Over time, the combination of the good soil and the landscape cloth will cause the grass to rot and give us good soil for planting our hedge. In the same way, this combination of God’s Word, spending time with Him, and being covered by His righteousness will cause our sinful nature to weaken its hold on us: “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” (Ps. 119:11 NLT)
It’s true that weeds can still grow in my new flower bed, and there’s always the possibility of the grass growing back up through the planting soil and landscape cloth (we have very strong weeds around here!). If that happens, I will pull the weeds. They will be much easier to pull, however, because of the planting soil and the landscape cloth treatment. In the same way, our sinful natures can still continue to peek through. When this happens, we are required to do some “weeding” as well. We are told to, “So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech.” (1 Peter 2:1 NLT). This doesn’t sound easy, but God will never allow us to be tempted beyond that which we can bear:“God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” (1 Cor. 10:13 NLT). Because we are covered by the blood of Jesus, it becomes possible to do away with sin, especially when we rely on God who has made “a way out”!
The whole purpose of our flower bed is to plant a cedar hedge to separate our yard from our neighbour’s. Preparing the soil of our souls is also always for a purpose, a purpose of planting, a purpose of harvest: “You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit…” (John 15:16 NLT). We also know from scripture that: “A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit.” (Matt. 7:17 NLT). Only when the soil of our hearts is prepared by being covered by Jesus’ righteousness and by adding in the Truth of God’s Word and time spent with Him will it be able to produce good fruit.
Are you already covered by Jesus’ Righteousness? Have you already asked Him to be your Lord and Saviour? If not, why not do so today? Click here to answer the Saviour’s Call.
If you are like me, however, then perhaps you are already covered by Jesus’ Righteousness; but somehow the weeds of our sinful natures still peek through, choking out the good fruit God wishes for us to bear. I don’t know about you, but I think an extra-thick layer of “good soil” is in order. I’m going to spend a bit more time with God in His Word! Would you like to join me?
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, andScriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, withAnswers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.