October 13, 2012
This week as I was walking down our road towards the country I noticed the trees on the side of the road. There were some who had vines wrapped around them from top to bottom, some who had vines beginning to grow, slowly creeping up the trunk, and some who had vines ripped off of them and were scarred.
The Lord started opening up my heart to His voice as He started teaching me through nature, yet again. The vines, they are SO beautiful, full of green leaves, some red, purple. Yet these vines are slowly choking out the life of the big trees. These vines represented sin to me. Any kind of sin. Lying, stealing, adultery, addiction, gluttony, selfishness, pride, having a “martyrs attitude”, cheating, disobeying...the list can go on and on.
These things all look so good at first. They seem like a good idea. Or maybe we don't even see that we are doing them! The tree doesn't notice a vine slowly creeping it's way towards the base of the tree. Sin is tricky. Sometimes we look at it and it looks pretty, it get's our attention, “look at that beautiful vine on that tree. It's leaves are wonderful!” But we all come to a realization, at some point or another, that those “beautiful leaves” (sin) are slowly choking us. You can look at a tree and ONLY see the vine as it's completely taken over the tree. Do you ever feel like that. You look at yourself in the mirror and are so covered with poor choices or there is a sin that clutches itself onto your life, that you forget who you are/what you look like without it?
Then I started thinking. “You know, a tree can't take off a vine that's wrapped around it. It needs a “gardener” to remove it, kill it”. We can't overcome sin on our own. Sometimes we can't even see it's in our lives We need someone to come along and lovingly approach us about that nasty vine in our lives. We need someone to rip it off so that we may be able to fully breath again, fully live without guilt, without shame, without smothering. The problem is that when those vines are ripped off they leave wounds, scarring. Only the Lord is able to fully detatch the vines of sin in our lives. Only He is able to bring complete healing. The scars? Yes, they are still there, but you can look at them as wounds or you can look at them as a loving rememberance, a chance to remember how the Lord set you free. A chance to share with others what He's done in your life when they ask about the scarring.
We all have them you know. Vines and scars. It's a constant circle in the human life. We are attracted to the ungodly things in life and hence are always battling vines, even ones appearing to be beautiful. Therefore, we are always in the need of a savior to lovingly approach us and help us see those vines and give us the courage to allow Him to rip them off, allow Him to scar us, and yet bring healing. I know that this is a painful process and scars are not pretty, but it's the least we can allow Him to do. Think of the scars He has and bore for us.
And so as I walked down the road I began to ask the Lord, “What vines do I have in my life today Lord? What things do I need to ask you to remove from the flesh of my heart in order to be able to fully be who I am in You?” For me it's fear. I live in constant fear and anxiety. This is my vine. It's almost choked me out of life a few times, but through God's grace (and wonderful friends and family) He has shown me that my life was at risk by this vine and that I needed it removed. Seems that I need it removed almost every day. What's your vine? Will you join me in asking the Lord for courage to allow Him to remove the vines in our lives?