Kudzu – Who Knew?

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Ok, so it has been FOREVER since I took the time to write a blog post. Crazy busy doesn’t really even begin to describe 2013. But it’s been a good kind of busy.

Between 4 pm on Thursday and 6 pm on Friday I made three trips to the general Lawrenceburg area. For those unfamiliar with the middle TN area, that trip is at least an hour one way and I made three of them in just over 24 hours. I love driving through that area. It is Amish country in TN and the scenery is just gorgeous: rolling hills, beautiful foliage, and I love seeing the simple farms and the horse-drawn buggies and wagons. So pretty and simple!

On trip three on Friday, I noticed something. There was a huge area of Kudzu-covered scenery that was so very pretty that it caught my eye. Then it got me thinking.

I have heard different things about kudzu during my 17 years in the South. For those not familiar, it is a beautiful green cover that grows over literally everything! It is really so pretty!! Bright green blankets everything that it covers. A close friend had shared a few details about the plant with me several years ago and the little that I knew prompted me to Google “kudzu” when I got home on Friday night.

The plant originated in Japan and was brought to the US as a decorative plant for an exhibition in Philadelphia to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the US. For years, a lot of work was put into growing the plant and expanding the area where it grew. And then a problem developed. It started to take over the countryside.

Kudzu is said to grow as much as two feet per day. It can take up to ten years to kill it off once it starts to grow in an area. The green leaves are so pretty and when it flowers it is so aromatic. Why would one want to kill it off? The answer to that question is simple.

It kills off everything in it’s path.

The plant grows so fast and thick and lush that it cuts off ALL sun from being able to shine through the cover that it makes, killing everything. It grows in fields, up and over trees, signs, buildings, and can completely cover all of those things plus cars, roadways, just about everything.

What looks and smells so beautiful suddenly becomes a huge problem, stumping even the most educated horticulturalists.

Which got me thinking…

It’s a lot like sin in our lives. What starts out looking so attractive and appealing and beautiful in our eyes suddenly turns ugly. What seemed so innocent takes over every corner of our lives. It blocks out the good things and turns our entire world dark. The parts of our lives and hearts and relationships that were once strong and healthy are overtaken by what once seemed so incredibly beautiful. It happens fast and becomes so hard to turn back. Things spiral out of control and our lives and the world we live in become almost unrecognizable.

All because we willingly allowed a little sprig of something that we wanted into our lives. We watered it and fertilized it and did everything we knew to do to make it grow, or maybe we just accepted a “sprig” from someone else, enjoyed it for a few days and then ignored it, but it grew anyway, and now we don’t know how to make it stop.

But God does. That doesn’t mean it will be easy. Tearing up roots never is. The deeper the roots go and the longer they have had to do so, the harder it is to get rid of all of them.

It’s worth it though. Once the predatory plants are gone, there are so many other beautiful flowers and plants that can grow, and the variety brings such joy!

It’s the same with the sins that we allow into our lives that grow and take over. Cleaning up is always hard. We often need help in order to get things REALLY cleaned up. Sometimes it takes a long time. Sometimes you think you have it all cleared and a random shoot pops up again. But the effort is always worth it, and the Master Gardener is ALWAYS willing to help. Who could possibly be a better helper than our very Creator Who knows every weakness we have and how best to counteract them?

I am so very thankful that He cares and He WANTS to help and He has promised to always be there when we call to help us clean up our messes. So very thankful!

Because only God can take the messes of our lives and make them into a message. He has done it for me. Has He done it for you?

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