Around our country home we have an open field of wild grass, oats, sunflowers, thistle, and various weeds. The most insidious weed is a skinny little thing officially named convolvulus arvensis. Most people know it as bindweed.
Bindweed pops up without much notice, sending out fragile-looking tendrils that wrap around anything upright—from a single stem of wild oats to wire fencing. Earlier this spring, I allowed a bunch of bindweed to lace the unstacked pile of wood behind my house. Bad idea. The bindweed lived up to its name and effectively bound each piece in the pile, preventing me from lifting one without using force or shears. I was amazed at its strength.
Deceptively delicate in appearance and painfully prolific, bindweed roots can reach depths of up to twenty feet. That’s a committed weed. Often confused with the ornamental annual, morning glory and its trumpet-shaped flowers, there is nothing glorious about bindweed.
Aside from annoying me with its insidious encroachment, bindweed reminds me of tiny sins and poor habits I allow to take root in my life. If left unchecked, they quietly grow into chain-like bindings that pin me down or choke out beneficial habits and desires.
It also reminds me of Jesus’s Parable of the Sower. In Mark 4:3-20 (also in Matthew and Luke), we find Jesus telling the story of a farmer who sowed his field with good seed. As a story teller myself, I imagine a sandaled man, skin sunbaked to a beautiful bronze, living in a semi-arid section of Israel’s former Promised Land. He wears a shoulder bag containing precious seed that will take root and grow and provide a good harvest come fall.
As he spreads the seed by hand, flinging the grains in an arc, some falls into the rich soil he has prepared. Some falls on rockier ground along the edges, and a few seeds scatter to the worn path and unattended areas next to his field. The birds eat some of the seeds, but most of it sprouts.
This is a wonderful story that I recommend you read during a quiet time with the Lord, for today I want to focus on the thorns that Jesus said choked out the seed and made it unfruitful. Jesus explained clearly what the thorns were: worldly cares, hunger for wealth, a clamoring for more and more things.
Jesus knew what He was talking about when he issued this warning. The seed is God’s word, He said, and is often stolen from our hearts by the enemy, allowed to dry up and wither, or choked out by noxious desires. In the story, only one-fourth of the seed grew and produced a crop.
I want to be in that 25%. Therefore, I’m grateful for the bindweed that finds its way among my flowers and garden plants. It reminds me that I must be vigilant to guard His word in my heart and not let it be choked out by the distractions of life.
Bio: Davalynn Spencer writes inspirational Western romance complete with rugged cowboys, their challenges, and their loves. She is the wife and mother of professional rodeo bullfighters, and worked several years as a rodeo journalist and crime-beat reporter, winning awards in both arenas. Her fiction has finaled for the 2015 Will Rogers Medallion and the 2014 Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, Selah, and Holt Medallion. Davalynn teaches writing at Pueblo Community College and makes her home on Colorado’s Front Range with her handsome cowboy and a Queensland heeler named Blue. Connect with Davalynn online at www.davalynnspencer.com.
Lucy Powell is on a path not of her choosing: widowhood. But she’s determined she doesn’t need anyone’s help to get her neglected ranch back in order and running right—especially the neighboring rancher who keeps showing up at the end of her shotgun. Buck Reiter can’t leave Lucy and her two young’uns alone. It’s just not in him to sit by and watch while someone struggles. But he ends up as the struggler, searching for a way to let Lucy know there’s a whole lot more going on in his heart than just being neighborly