Over the last week or so, David and I have been working out our disappointment and sadness about missing out on our trip to Europe by working hard to clear the woods at our house. Since we aren't in Paris and Zurich and Venice and Rome, we might as well take some time to make our own little acreage more beautiful.
We have encountered an incredible amount of brambles and thorny vines that have entangled the trees and basically taken over the edge of the woods, and had to protect our arms and legs with long sleeves and pants, and our hands with thick leather gloves.
Our forearms are sore from pulling down these strong vines from the trees and from dragging out pile after pile of brush all wrapped up in thorny branches.
We used all sorts of tools to clip, saw, dig, rake and trim back the thorns to free the trees and to open up these beautiful woods.
While we took a water break from working one afternoon, David commented, "I understand why Jesus wore a crown of thorns on his head. This is just like sin- it tangles all into our minds... it takes over."
I couldn't shake that thought- it has been in my mind ever since, and we have had so many conversations about it as we have continued to work...bringing an even greater gratitude to us for what Jesus has done.
Sin creeps in- we have been sitting on this porch for almost 10 years and knew there were brambles and thorns in the woods, but it is so much easier to talk about it than to deal with it.
Sin entangles us- it sneakily wraps around all of our thoughts and perspectives, wrapping us up in lies and fear and bitterness and doubt, and covering over all of the beauty that God put there.
Sin hurts- it catches and pricks and tears at us at our most tender places, and we tend to put on tough coverings to protect ourselves from the pain of it.
Sin wears us out- we can pull at it, tug at it, struggle and fight with it, and still the roots will remain.
This is why we need a Savior.
He wore as a crown the very thorns that entangle and torture us, He knew that we would have a battle in our minds that was a thorn fighting battle, and He turned those very thorns into a crown... His blood trickled down and covered them, so that we could rest in what He has done, and give up the fight.
Jesus, and Jesus alone can jerk up the roots of the thorns in our minds, our lives, and reveal the beauty there, free us so that we can breathe and grow unhindered and unencumbered.
He has done it, and He offers it to us, and He will always, always come to set us free.
I am headed back out to the woods to work again this afternoon... I will suit up in my protective clothes, I will wear my leather gloves...but my heart is able to be open, to be more and more free, because Jesus has done this work in me, and continues it by His grace and mercy...
and I will worship as I work.
I am a wife and homeschooling mom who absolutely loves her job! I love to read good books, enjoy art, and sit on my porch with family, friends and any passersby to talk about them and what a good, good Father we all have!