For more than 10 years, no one had cut back the trees and weeds along the fence line in the house I moved in to. So…I’ve started. My own personal Urban Renewal project.
It’s a bear.
So many weeds and vines have grown into the trees that even most of the good limbs had to be cut. Other good limbs had to take detours through everything else, so even clean and cleared and free, they were bare and twisted. Those had to be cut off too. As did the limbs in the service wires. My mess was affecting my neighbor.
What I’m left with is 13 stumps.
It’s not much to look at today, but at least it has a CHANCE to be presentable if I keep it clipped and clean.
My own life was a lot like the fence line. You don’t clean up that much mess without some pain – cuts and bruises, nearly falling out of trees. Rip a few shirts. Smell up the place. Almost roast to death. Personally, we are not Yard of the Year or even close. But we’re no longer a place for animals to nest and snakes to sleep and thorns to grow in the dark.
Nothing good can grow in that mess. Things had to be cut back to the basics. Once you’re willing to bring out the big ax, God is faithful to restore. That’s the start. No garden grows on cruise control. Adam was put to work in the garden. So are we.
“The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” Matt. 13:22-23 (NIV)