Yesterday afternoon I went outside to do a few things. While I was on the back patio looking at my plants, I noticed that my rose bush’s leaves were nearly all gone. This was very confusing to me since it looked fine just a couple of days ago. As I looked closer and investigated I figured out what had happened. I found these worms that looked just like the leaves, eating the leaves. I picked them off one at a time and threw them into a trash bag and into the trashcan. I was so amazed by their ability to blend in with the rose bush and deceive me so well. Tricky little devils! I also noticed little black dots all around my rose bush on the patio. I later realized it was worm poop. Yuck! Apparently, they are also messy little devils.
This morning, as I was journaling about the worm discovery, the Lord began to speak to me about the worms that we might have in our own lives. One minute we may think all is well but unknown to us there is destruction going on. Just as the worms in my rose bush disguised themselves as part of the bush so they wouldn’t be seen, so it is in our lives.
What are some things in our lives that we can’t see that are destroying us? Could it be food, or relationships or negative thoughts? Maybe it’s a bad attitude or unforgiveness. Maybe it’s selfishness, greed or lust. It could be anything that we think is harmless. And as a result just as the worms left a mess of poop all around my rose bush we are left with a mess of poop in our own lives.
So what can we do about it? Well, first we have to realize we have a problem. Once we see the destruction and the poop mess that it leaves then we have to find the culprit. We have to examine our lives. What is hidden in our lives that looks like it belongs there but is actually destroying us and leaving a mess?
The way I find life-destroying worms in my own life is by asking the Lord to reveal them to me. The ways He uses to reveal them to me is through His Word, the conviction of the Holy Spirit or maybe through an honest godly friend. One of the greatest advantages of reading and studying God’s word is we can know Him and His character. So, when a worm (anything contrary to God and His character) sneaks into our lives we’ll recognize it more easily and more quickly.
Once we find the culprit, the next step is to do as I did with the leaf-eating worms, pick them off one by one and get rid of them. How do we do that in our lives? We deal with each issue as the Lord shows it to us. We pray and ask the Lord to help us to get rid of the destructive behavior through the power of His Holy Spirit. We can’t do it in our own strength. Will power will only get us so far. We need God’s grace! We need the power of His Spirit to do in us what we can’t do on our own. That’s grace!
The secret to keeping the worms out of our lives, once we discover them and do away with them/get victory over them, is by staying in God’s word and staying in prayer. Be watchful! Don’t think that just because you got rid of them once that they won’t be back. It may not be the same worms but there will be new ones. Luke 21:36 “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
Then what? Watch your life flourish. You will grow new leaves and produce healthy beautiful roses. Isn’t that the goal? We want to bear a lot of fruit. Jesus said in John 15:2 He (God) cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
So let’s examine our lives and find the destructive behaviors that are making a mess in our lives. Let’s ask the Lord to help us change and to clean up our mess. Then let’s bear beautiful roses for all the world to see and enjoy. And when the people around us are enjoying the beauty in our lives let’s tell them about God, our Gardener, and how He helped us to get rid of the destructive worms in our lives. Let’s tell them about how He cleaned up the mess that those worms made and how He wants to do the same for them. Don’t keep your gardening secrets to yourself. Share the good news!