Stop and Smell the Roses
I am not naturally a green thumb. Truth is, I’ve never really tried gardening long enough to know if I would enjoy it or even be good at it. If I were to try my hand at it, which I am considering, I would start with succulents. They seem very low maintenance, I love the look of them and I can keep them insight so that I don’t forget to water them! Roses, on the other hand, seem a bit high maintenance. We have a rose bush in our back yard that Ted primarily takes care of. It is beautiful to look at and smell but must be pruned and watered weekly. My understanding is that in order to get the most beautiful roses you have to prune off even the buds that look just ok so that the most beautiful ones can grow to their full potential. Our lives are much like this. We need continual maintenance and care. For me, the pruning and weeding are the hardest. The weeds grow so fast that when I’m not careful I’ve allowed them to choke out the good things. The pruning is just as difficult. To cut something out of my life that was once good but no longer produces life can be painful. Both of these processes are necessary for our over all health.
Let’s discuss the weeding. Some common weeds that we should be aware of are the lies that the enemy has told us, we have agreed with and we now believe. In the Garden of Eden, after Adam and Eve chose to eat from the forbidden tree, they realized that they were naked and hid themselves from God. God asked them why they were hiding and they said, “because we are naked…” and God said, “Who told you, you are naked…” God was not asking a question that He didn’t know the answer to, He was simply bringing awareness that He had not told them they were naked, that they had been listening to the voice of the serpent, that stealthy deceiver. See, the enemy is just waiting to find a way to plant his lies in our hearts and minds. Our hurt and pain can be an access point for him. The worst thing about our hurt/pain is not the pain it self but the message that the enemy tries to plant there. For example, if I have been hurt by someone the message left could be that there is something wrong with me. Well, that’s just not true. It’s time to weed out the lies of the enemy from our life and receive healing. Weeding is pretty simple but must be done regularly for our healing/health. Here’s what I do: Ask Holy Spirit to reveal the lies that I have believed, take those lies captive, rejecting them and replacing them with the truth of God’s word!
The Holy Spirit also wants to help us Prune. Simply put, pruning is taking inventory of our lives and doing something about it. Here are some questions that I try to ask myself and invite the Holy Spirit to reveal to me:
What am I doing that is no longer productive or fruitful?
What relationship or activity am I holding onto that is no longer healthy for me?
Where do I waste the most time?
Once I have a clear picture of some things that I need to let go of - I ask the Holy Spirit to guide me in the steps I need to take. I ask Him for the courage to be fully obedient to Him, especially when I feel pulled by others. Then I take one step at a time. One day at a time.
The beautiful thing about weeding and pruning is that it gives us the space to heal and be healthy. It allows us to truly experience the best of what is right in front of us. To live in freedom and full of life! This is a process, a walk, we just can’t forget to stop and smell the roses on our way!