I've spent the past couple Saturdays working in the yard trying to bring some kind of order to the chaos that has ensued from months of neglect. All kinds of spiritual principles come to mind as I'm pulling up the virginia creeper that is sending out its invisible shoots all over the surface of my yard, or trying to dig out the roots of that prickly bush that just won't die. Trimming other people's plants that are growing into my yard is always an exercise in disciplining the mind against sinful thoughts, one I mostly lose. At the end of the day I am gloriously tired, sore, and covered in mosquito bites. I've made such a small dent it's hard to even notice what I've done.
I started teaching this week, and Quinn had strep throat my first three days of school. As I scrambled for sitters and lost much need prep time, my hopes of starting the year strong were pretty well squashed. There was laughter and joy and fun and unexpected blessings in my week, but these were overshadowed by a wide range epic failures that left me feeling as if, after all the hard work done to clear out my soul, I had only really succeeded in making it dirtier than before. It would be like walking out my door to find my yard had become a jungle overnight, despite my many recent hours of labor.
And yet -
This is war. War is epic. It isn't until you reach the enemy stronghold that you get any real idea of how powerful he is. I see not only his power, but the deceitfulness of his plan, and I really am helpless to defend myself. When I started digging up the roots of my sin, I had no idea how deep they were and how violently they would resist death. I feel like I'm at the climax of the storyline where the hero makes a grave mistake and it looks like all is lost. I'm waiting for that turning point, the unexpected and undeserved grace to swoop down and save the day.
And I'm glad to be part of something epic, my own death to sin through the sanctifying grace of Christ, even if it is violent and painful because it is also beautiful. Beautiful and epic.