The Battle

6 03 2013

“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” – Margaret Thatcher

I have an ongoing battle in my garden. Despite my best efforts, weeds keep popping up amid my carefully cultivated plants. I mulch, water, prune, and nourish my plants. I watch for disease, pull off the dead to help the living thrive, and get my fingers pricked by thorns, but the weeds still come back. I dream of beauty, look in wonder at the way flowers open, petals unfurl, and butterflies carry nectar from stem to stem, but still struggle with stragglers finding their way into my little plot of earth. It requires regular vigilance to keep the weeds from taking over my garden.

Those of you who are more experienced planters than I are probably shaking your heads. Of course. Dealing with weeds is part of the process of growing flowers, fruit, vegetables, and herbs. If you want to enjoy the produce of the ground, you are going to have to pull some weeds.

My soul is a lot like that garden. Weeds keep popping up amidst the beauty that I want to see cultivated in my heart. But here, I am more easily frustrated. Why, when I pull a weed once, does it come back? Why do I have to struggle over and over against the same habits, same temptations, and the same thought patterns? I sometimes feel like a failure when I examine my soul garden and see the weed I pulled last week grow right back.

Margaret Thatcher was right. You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it. Spiritual growth is a process, a journey. It doesn’t happen overnight. We don’t become full-blown reflections of Jesus in a day. Habits, tendencies, mindsets, and ways of thinking are not transformed in the blink of an eye. It takes steady surrender, regular repentance, and daily dependence to fight the weeds that seek to take root in the soul.

My Jesus Resolution today is to fight the battle…again. Jesus has already won the victory. I have to learn to live within His triumph. That means focusing on the reason He plants Himself within us. He is growing His own likeness in the soil of our hearts. Weeds will pop up. Dealing with them on a daily basis will keep them from taking over.


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