Wednesday, September 17, 2008

No Pretending

But I, God, search
the heart and examine
the mind. I get to the heart…
I get to the root
of things.
I treat them
as they really are,
not as they pretend to be.

Jeremiah 17:10 (The Message)

Once, while participating in a healing conference, the leader took us through a spiritual exercise of seeing our hearts as a garden. “What do the walls look like surrounding the garden? Are they stone, a picket fence, what condition are they in or are there walls at all?” she asked. “Now, go into the garden. What is growing? Are there weeds? Any flowers? What about weeds pretending to be flowers?”

Continuing through the exercise she reminded us that God knew the difference between flowers and weeds in our respective gardens. The “seeds” we had planted in our spiritual soil would ultimately reveal their identity. And, no matter how relieved we might be to see that any “weed seeds” didn’t really look that bad and perhaps the incidents that planted the seed could remain hidden, God knew fakery.

It was a painful exercise. Looking at ourselves or our believing community and allowing God to point to the “weeds pretending to be flowers” is an exercise in humility. And, the exercise doesn’t end with God’s pointing finger. In identifying what is “pretend”, God says, I want to get to the root of this weed. I want to do what one does with weeds in gardens.

Beware! It hurts when God starts pulling weeds. He does whatever it takes to get at the root. Afterwards we may discover our gardens fairly bare. But with humility comes repentance for what is exposed and removed. And, what remains will be a garden free of weeds pretending to be flowers but ready for good seed planting.

Loving God, here is my heart’s garden.
No matter how painful, pull out every
weed that pretends to be a flower.
Plant in me seeds that will produce
true beauty and reveal Your glory.
Photo image taken from

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

God's ways are so different than man's. The thought of humility and confession sounds so unappealing-because we often don't understand how this is for our good and blessing. I heard an excellent message this summer on confession and I will never forget the pastor's statement that "Confession should begin in sorrow but end in joy." Yes, God's ways are so different and they are wonderful!