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By Christine Callahan

As I was walking down the pathway to the chicken coop, I was going over in my head the many chores and things that needed to bedone that summer day. We had left the sprinklers on the night before in order to give the vegetable garden a good soaking. The only problem was that sometimes the overflow of water would run right through the pathway toward the coop. I carefully avoided the wet spots because the red clay out here sticks to everything. After feeding the chickens, I headed back up to the house when I heard that “still small voice” speaking to me.

“Pull those weeds.” He said.

(I did not have time to pull weeds.) “Huh?” I murmured.

“Pull those weeds.” He spoke again, a little more firmly.

“Now…Lord?” I asked.

“Yes, now.” He said back.

As I looked down, I could pick any spot to start from because the weeds were totally covering parts of the pathway. I began in the dry section so I wouldn’t stain my white tennis shoes. Opening my hand, I began to strain as I tried pulling the weeds out. The ground was so dry and cracked from the hot summer sun that it was almost impossible to get the roots out. I made a small pile of weed tops and thought to myself, “at least it looks better”. I moved on to the next section that received a little of the soaking. This was a bit easier to maintain because the water had made it possible to get about half of the roots out. Then when I got to the soaking wet spots, the weeds came out without a problem.

At first I wasn’t very excited about the whole “pulling the weeds” thing. I could be doing so many other things with my time, but I had a check in my spirit. I obeyed because I knew that I was about to learn something.

“Okay, Lord…now what?” I said as I waited for an answer.

He said tome, “I am going to pull out the weeds in my people's lives and I am starting with you.”

I didn’t know how to respond. I could sense the presence of God all around me. The plans that I had for the day melted away. My heart was crying out, “But that’s going to hurt, God!”

He answered back, “Not if you’re soaked in my word and led by my Spirit. Just like those weeds you pulled, did you notice how easy it was to pull them out of the soaked ground? Now, if you harden your heart, then like the dry cracked ground it will be difficult because the root will have to be dug up in order to get it all.”

“Help me to be the soaking wet ground!” I prayed as tears began to fill my eyes.

I walked back up to the house and sat on the steps and thought about what had just happened…I had just had an encounter with Holy God. I thanked Him for being so patient with me. I allowed my heart to be open to “soak up” the words that He had prepared for me to learn that summer day.

“For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?”     ~ 1 Peter 4:17
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