THORNS OF WORRY
Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.
Matthew 13:7, 22
If you give enough water to anything in Georgia, you can probably grow it. Georgia is my home and though I’m a New England girl, I’ve been struck by how fast things grow here. That includes weeds. Leave a weed long enough and it can become quite pretty, confusing the novice gardener. Weeds blend in and destroy the landscape. Spiritual weeds, grown and tolerated over time, choke out the possibility of good growth. The Word comes in strength and beauty but, almost instantly, its effectiveness is rendered powerless because of weeds. One kind Jesus addresses is the cares of this world.
Worries crowd out my ability to hear the Word of God. Historically, I come from a line of worriers. I’ve been taught, by example, to obsess over fears, to turn them around in my hands in every possible configuration until I find a solution. Weighed down by the impossibilities, I work myself up into a panic. How can I be still to hear God’s voice? I have too many cares and I lack the ability to concentrate.
As someone who used to live with panic attacks, I can give this advice. Weed when weeds are small! When anxious thoughts occur, grab them and kill them with the promises of God. The apostle Paul labeled it ‘taking every thought captive.’ I remember that fear is Satan’s biggest tactic.
Weeds of anxiety, fed over time, become strongholds. I develop a mindset of anxiety where, by default, my first response to any bad news is fear. I feed the beast without even making a conscious choice. Is the Word powerful enough to re-wire the way my brain works? Oh, yes. Can it demolish a toxic mindset and build a new one? Absolutely. “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 The word for arguments is ‘logismos,’ or logic. It’s the way I’ve learned to think and process. Paul wanted believers to be assured that the Word of God is a weapon that demolishes hopeless mindsets, fearful mindsets, and even cynical mindsets.
As any of us look back at who we were twenty years ago, may we be able to say of ourselves – To the glory of God, I no longer think the way I used to think. In fact, I can’t even get in my own skin anymore. My thoughts can’t travel those old paths. Whether pleasures or cares, may neither be the culprit that smothers the stunning landscape of spiritual gardening.
I don’t think I still fully grasp the power of Your seeds. Enlarge me view of spiritual transformation – starting now. In Jesus’ name, Amen