walk in the word
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing (Matthew 23:37, esv)!
I really hate dandelions. The harder you try to get rid of them, the more they hang around. It doesn’t really matter what you spray or what kind of program you get on, they’re coming up anyway. There’s another one—here, there, everywhere. That’s just the way dandelions grow. They spring up all over the place.
And sin, I’m sad to say, is a lot the same. Contrary to popular opinion, the longer you live and the more time you spend in self-examination, that’s how certain you can be of spotting a new one sprouting up where you thought you’d already treated for it.“The Lord wants you free, once and for all, from the sin that has only made you restless and miserable for so long.” Click To Tweet
But as discouraging as it can sometimes be to discover even more things in your life that grieve the Lord, this dandelion count is to be expected. We were wrong to think we’d become more content with ourselves the longer we knew Jesus, that we could spend more time sitting back, admiring our green fields of self-righteousness. It’s good, in fact, to become more acutely aware of how badly we need His grace. And to find He is not there scolding us, offended by us, but rather is eager to work with us so we don’t stubbornly resist His intentions to bless us, encourage us, and give us life.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem,” Jesus cried out, looking over a rebellious city that God had previously destroyed, then rebuilt, and would destroy again. But notice His heart. It wasn’t harsh. He wasn’t flying off the handle. He was wanting them to come to Him, out of the pain and heartache their sins had cost them, and into His loving embrace. He wanted them free, once and for all, from those things that had only made them restless and miserable for so long.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem”—hear Him say it again—“how often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!”
Here, then, is the encouragement you can take from those patches of dandelions you keep noticing. Are they areas where you’re leaning on a crutch of some kind, rather than leaning foremost on Jesus? Are they matters of job-related integrity? Are they images of other faces appearing at the corners of marital intimacy? Are they pockets of financial fear, where you’re not sure you can trust His Word and the faithfulness of His provision? Are they places where you’re not prioritizing your family, or not being loving and forgiving?
Nobody wants to keep seeing these blemishes in their lives. But they are less of a cause for condemnation and more of a reminder of how much you need Jesus. So, unlike the generation of His day, who wouldn’t gather up close to Him, who wouldn’t accept His relief, use these sightings to draw nearer to His side. And He will pluck those weeds for you, one at a time.
The field won’t ever be totally rid of them. But you will love Him increasingly, as you allow His uprooting in your life.
Lord, I admit to sometimes becoming discouraged. I’d hoped I wouldn’t still be finding so much that needs work in my heart. But thank You for not being surprised at my continual need for You. And thank You for looking on me with grace and compassion, eager to do for me what I can’t do for myself. I yield to You today. I come up close to Your side. In the strength of Your arms, You give me hope in my discouragement. I pray this in the life-giving name of Jesus, amen.
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