The three of us—Charlotte, Caleb, and I—stood covered in Tennessee mud and stretched wearily.
We discovered later we were also covered in Tennessee seed ticks. At best, they itch furiously and must be tweezered off some pretty sensitive (and embarrassing) places. At worst, they can carry Lyme Disease or Powhassen virus. But currently, those sicknesses would have to stand in line to have a shot at killing us, so I'm not particularly worried.
Our newly created garden—hacked out of our stubborn Tennessee ridgetop soil (they don't call it Rocky Top for nothing)—stood before us. Seedlings lined up in rows like good little soldiers: tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, banana peppers, and sweet potatoes snuggled in the ground. In other rows where seeds had been planted, little flags marked what they would be: pumpkin, watermelon, carrots, lettuce, and Italian sage.
Fist-sized white Tennessee limestone rocks—hundreds of them, maybe thousands—piled up as borders for the plant beds, courtesy of the limestone bedrock that underlies the soil in these parts. And each one had to be hoed, raked, or plucked from the planting beds. I think they replicate at night like aliens from a cheap science fiction novel.
My heart, like Paul’s, compares to the soil of our garden. Big things don’t impede my spiritual growth ...well, not usually. However, I have had my moments. Mostly, it is those dadgum fist-sized rocks that constantly trip me up.
And those are the rocks I'm continually digging out of my heart’s spiritual garden. Little things, like my mind wandering while I'm in my morning reading of the Word. Little things, like a lack of patience and quickness of temper. Little things, like an unclean word that slips past my tongue in a moment of exasperation. Little things, like more than a passing appreciation of a woman's beauty and figure. Little things, like a small “harmless” white lie told in a social situation.
Little things. Those small rocks of sin in my spiritual garden. Every day, I try to pry them out of my heart. And even though each day brings more, thank Jesus, I can give the ones I dig out to my Lord. I suspect I'll be raking rocks out of my heart until the day I get called home.
Take a moment each day to give your rocks to the Lord.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)