I have a confession to make. I’ve always been the kind of person that acts first and reads directions later. I like to think I’m doing better in this area as I get older but, if I’m honest, I still prefer speed and action over slower, thoughtful effort.
As you may know, sometimes doing things this way has negative repercussions.
Earlier this spring, when weeds nearly covered our front yard, I decided to go to Lowes to get what I needed – weed killer. I came home and began liberally spraying anywhere I saw a hint of a weed. A few days later I noticed that most of my yard was brown and dying.
Why? What happened?
I finally figured out that I had purchased weed and grass killer. Yes, I put weed and grass killer on my grass! I not only didn’t read the directions, I didn’t even read the label on the front of the container!
I was in such a hurry to rid myself of weeds that I grabbed the first thing that looked right. I didn’t have time to stop and read the instructions and I experienced the results of that decision – a dead yard.
So too with our heart and soul.
When we face some crisis or trouble in life, we tend to grab the first thing that looks like it might help us. Many of us prefer speed-of-resolution over taking the time to seek the right input. We get in such a hurry that we often rely on our human wisdom and opinion of others to aid in our problem.
The right input for our heart is the Holy Spirit, Jesus and their life in and through the living Scriptures. Our heart and soul cannot function properly without this nourishment. Jesus Himself said that His flesh and blood was our spiritual food and that without Him, we were dead (just like my lawn). Taking the time to meditate on Him (He is the Word) and study the Holy Scriptures is the key to a healthy heart.
You and I want a heart that radiates and spills forth the fruit of the Spirit including love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
The best news for my heart (and my yard) is that God is a God of second chances. He redeems us and turns what we did, all our past mistakes, into a beautiful testimony for His glory. By coming back to Him the grass of our soul can be restored to lush and green.
In my distress I called to the Lord;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears.
Psalm 18:6 (NIV)