Most days as I journey, I move along quite oblivious to the enemy’s nefarious schemes and plans he has for me. I step forward confident, covered with the shield of faith. Other days I seem to misplace my shield altogether and wind up in some dark place of misshapen misadventures. Truth be told, my faith falls away at times and I’m more easily led to places I’d rather not be or see. Such a place is the thistle field.
Once upon a time my husband and I bought a couple of acres with a house on it. A portion of the property was covered with thistles which stretched over my 5’2” frame. The previous owners had horses to chew down or trample the thistles. We had no horse and therefore I set to work removing the thistles.
I geared up, meaning I put on a long sleeved shirt and rubber boots and two, yes two, pairs of gloves. Still, it was a dangerous, painful task. And always there were more thistles waiting to take the place of the ones I had pulled up. Eventually, I was able to clear the area. Mostly. Even several years later I could still find another thistle popping up.
Today, metaphorically, I found myself in the middle of a field of thistles. They all towered above my head and as I studied those surrounding me, I realized the plants had subtle differences yet remained mostly the same.
The problem was, of course, I didn’t have the proper gear with me to remove them, nor was I dressed appropriately for traipsing through a thistle field. (That would be a jumpsuit of Kevlar or a suit of armor, for those of you wondering.)
If I recall correctly, I’m pretty sure I stepped into the field unaware, the thistles springing up around me quicker than mice populating an abandoned house. (For those of you lucky enough to not have experienced said populating, trust me, it’s fast.)
So all of a sudden I’m completely surrounded. Using what I had, mainly my skirt, I began pulling up the thistles painfully one by one. I absolutely still got pricked and scratched even though my skirt was relatively thick. Spiny, prickly, troublesome thistles!
I’ll admit, I more than once lost my temper and used my feet to stomp some down, knowing full well that the thistles would survive any stomping. Nope, true thistle extermination and any weed annihilation, comes from yanking out the roots…which I did…time and again…for hours…for days…for months…for years.
I had cleared the field previously; at least I thought I had. But again, today I found myself in that very same field of thistles once more. Ugh!
Everyone knows when you clear out a huge area of weeds you have to keep returning to it to keep it free—at least people who garden learn this. Apparently I had forgotten this lesson. Having already cleared out the field a few times prior, I assumed I was good to go, to continue on my journey, never to return. The enemy knew this. I’m pretty sure he smirked and sneered my way as he sowed a few extra thistle seeds while I wasn’t looking.
Some of you might be wondering, “So, where’s God and Christ in your proverbial thistle field?” Oh, right. Whoops. There is a higher power above and beyond my puny human efforts.
I prayed, Lord, if it’s Your will, please remove these thistles from this field.
Most of them died on the spot. I made quick work of the remaining thistles and walked my scratched up, bleeding self to the edge of the field. Thanks, God.
I was about to continue on my journey when the Light of the World revealed Himself. I did what any God-fearing Christian would do and fell on my knees before Him.
He raised me up and placed a pouch in my hands. “Sow these here.” Kernels of Truth. Even as I sowed, thistles began to form again. The Light of the World taught me to plant many seeds, at least six for each growing thistle I pulled up.
Truth sown over the field where thistles lied for so long. Yes, lied. For this field of thistles has always been the enemy’s lies to my heart. Subtle differences in each thistle plant but always a thistle nonetheless.
I know this field will remain. I know I must return here often, if only to harvest more truths, and more than likely to remove the lies growing beside the truth. The thistles after all, must always be pulled up by their roots, else they will grow anew. And I for one am sick of living, lying thistles.
And just maybe, for extra measures, I should place a horse or two here too.