The other day I spent most of the afternoon mowing the lawn and pulling weeds on a muggy, 90+ degree day. I wore blue jeans and a long sleeved shirt because I was scared of the slight possibility of being attacked by tarantulas and black widow spiders and snakes, so I sweated like crazy. There were a lot of dry leaves and sticks that mixed with the grass as they went through the mower which created a dry/irritating dust that completely covered me and made my eyes red and itchy and my nose sneeze. I felt like I couldn't drink enough water. The weeds and vines that had sprouted all over the yard were bigger and more gnarly than any I had ever seen in Washington. I picked one spiky weed up very slowly and carefully, but as soon as I dropped it into the garbage bag a whole bunch of stinging nettles fell off of it and got swept up in the breeze all around me. As I mowed under the trees I was paranoid of ticks dropping in my head which apparently can give you some sort of life-threatening disease down here (the Arkansas Department of Tourism would probably love to have me to write a review for them, wouldn't they?). It was just miserable...and then the thought came into my mind:
"When God curses something, it's really cursed. When He removes his blessing from something, it gets pretty nasty." And yet still, even in the midst of the thorns and the bugs and the dust, you can see a little picture of what it would look like if it was redeemed. I can picture what the yard would look like with no weeds and thriving with flowers. He cursed the ground, but He still waters it, gives seed to it, and brings forth beauty in the midst of it. It just seemed to be a good reminder of how ugly things can be when you turn against God, and how good God is to offer hope and glimpses of beauty in the midst of it.
"If Christians want us to believe in a Redeemer, let them act redeemed" ~Voltaire (French philosopher noted for his strong opposition to Christian beliefs)
"But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives" ~Job 19:25 (a man's whose life agreed with his words)