Wednesday, I worked my normal shift at the Tulsa County Extension office. We have folks that bring in baggies of yellowed diseased leaves, infected branches, insects, and about anything else you can think of. A lady came walking in with a long prickly stem that had a purple head on it. She asked me “what is this flower, I have never seen it before”? I chuckled to myself and told her that it was not a flower, but a “noxious weed” named a musk thistle. I told her that even though the flower itself is pretty she really didn’t want them because they are “real problems”, and the reasons why,
Since she lives in the city she probably had never seen one in a yard or garden. In the country they are one of my worst nightmares. Since we received over 5 inches of rain over the past few days, today I went thistle hunting. One may ask, “why would you do that”? The answer is that each thistle head contains approximately 3,000 seeds. With so many flowers on each plant and you are talking abouts literally millions of future thistles; and the seeds won’t flower for 2 years because they are a biennial.
Thistles have a very pretty flower on them. Looking at this spiritually, sin is also very attractive in its own way. We all fight sin on a daily basis no matter how long you may have been a believer. We all have our “weak spots”, and sins we are attracted to more than others. Don’t be pious, we all have them.
Like the one thistle flower can turn into 3,000 more plants, one sin can lead to another, and another, and another. It only continues and they can get worse and worse, and bigger and bigger. If you lie, then you have to lie to cover up the previous lie. This is the nature of sin and man’s never ending battle with it. It will remain a constant war in this flesh. If you let your guard down for only a bit it will get ahold of you,
Another characteristic of the thistle is the long spiny sharp quill; and there are thousands of them on each plant. I keep mine under control by pulling them up out of the ground by hand before the seed head opens up. You must pull up the whole root and it is not a fun job. Today, I probably pulled over 200 out of the ground in the pastures. I have pulled thousands in a season in the past. The back of my arms get hundreds of pricks in them from the thistle quills. They pierce even through your shirt sleeves. Sin does the exact same thing. We get all of these little sin “marks” all over us. If you continue in it too long it can really scar you for life.
What a pesky weed the thistle is, and it demands my constant attention in the Spring and Summer months. Sin demands even more constant attention to fight it. In fact, it will not end in this life. Most look at some sins as smaller than others, but sin is sin! The white lie is a sin as much as any that we may call “major sins”, because it falls short of the glory of God. It misses His mark of perfection.
The Good News is the antidote to sin. We can find forgiveness for “all” of our sins in Christ. As a believer “if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9). As the small little pricks in my arms will be healed in short order, our sins will be forgiven instantly and never remembered again. This is not to save us again, but to bring us back into close fellowship with the Father.
If you have never trusted Christ to be your sin-bearer, and Lord, He is waiting for you to repent of your sins, and He wants to be your Savior. He wants to make you righteous through His atoning blood. Trust Him today, won’t you?
I will continue to fight the thistles so that my pastures can be free of them, and I will continue to battle sin to stay in fellowship with God. I’m so thankful that God is gracious and ever ready to assist us in this battle. Call upon Him today!!
Until tomorrow, Lord willing,