I spent several hours this morning combing the yard for and digging up cactus. When we moved here, we were warned that the cactus were a problem and they needed to be constantly plucked up and rooted out or they would spread and spread. Digging up cactus has been low on our list of things to do and because of that, there were cactus everywhere! I seems would dig one up and turn a fraction of an inch and see five more!
As I was digging these up, I thought how this is just like our lives.
When we let one little bit of bitterness, hatred, discontentment or any other sinful emotion in our lives and do not immediately remove it, it starts to spread and spread and spread. Pretty soon we are a very angry, discouraged, and unhappy person and it sometimes takes a lot of work to get back to the place where our Spirit is right with God again.
Just when I was starting to get discouraged about the number of cactus, a few of our church ladies and kids showed up to help me. What a blessing! Again, this same thing is true with our spiritual life. When we are feeling down and discouraged, it helps so much when a fellow Christian comes along and helps to pick us up and encourages us when we are struggling.
It is also important that from a young age, we teach our children to daily search their hearts and make sure that their thoughts are pleasing to God and to remove anything that could harm their walk with Him.
We ended up filling a 5 gallon bucket three times full of the prickly things.
I think in the future we will definitely do better with plucking up and rooting out the cactus in the yard. It is easier to keep all the pricklies from growing then it is to take so much time and effort to remove them!