Digitaria is a genus of plants in the grass family that is often referred to as crabgrass. I hate crabgrass. I’ve just survived two consecutive weekends of crabgrass battles: the first in a mulch bed on the side of my house and a second in a mulch bed in the front of my house. I learned something important.
In the first battle, crabgrass had arrogantly consumed the side mulch bed. This had been an annoyance to me for a while and, occasionally, I’d spend a few minutes ripping it out after returning home from work. This only served to motivate it to grow faster. So, last weekend, I raked back the mulch and prepared to pull. To my surprise, however, I saw that it had grown through the fabric ground covering beneath the mulch. The roots were hidden. All I could see was the “leaves.” I put down the rake and pulled up the fabric. The mostly clay soil was flat, moist, and infiltrated with crabgrass roots. There was no pulling it out; it would simply snap off and live on. I got my shovel. I dug 6-10 inches deep throughout the entire bed. I turned the soil over. Only then was I able to separate the roots from the soil, by hand. After pulling the roots, I replaced the soil, flattened it, cut new fabric, and spread new mulch. It was a tremendous amount of work, much more than I thought it would be, but now the crabgrass is gone.
In the second battle, there was far less crabgrass visible, but it had grown through the mulch so I knew what to expect. I again raked back the mulch and saw, as anticipated, that the crabgrass had grown through the fabric. I pulled back the fabric, shovel in hand. When I started digging, however, I was blocked by a complex network of roots, from large to capillary. You see, this mulch bed has a large tree in the middle. The tree roots had so completely infiltrated the soil surrounding its base that little crabgrass had grown into it. This crabgrass root network was not extended or deep as it had been in the side mulch bed. It laid on top of the tree roots, exposed like forearm veins. I pulled it out with very little digging (I actually could not penetrate the tree roots with my shovel) and then repeated the fabric covering and re-mulching process. No more crabgrass, much less work.
Can you see the analogy to sin in our lives? Much like the crabgrass, the sin is already in the soil. We are born in a sinful state. We can cover up, but if we don’t root out the sin, it will completely take over our lives, our mulch beds. It’s not easy, you can’t just pull the crabgrass, you can’t just use willpower. Willpower eventually fails, the weed is broken off above the fabric covering and simply grows back, maybe stronger. The work of Jesus, our acceptance of his healing grace, is to turn over our soil, to renew our sinful heart. The sin roots are then exposed and can be thrown out. With the tree of Jesus in your soil, there will no longer be room for sin to take deep root. Jesus’ love chokes it out. You may still have some crabgrass show up, but you won’t have to dig as deep or as long to rid yourself of the sin.
If you haven’t yet invited Jesus into your heart, I encourage you to do it now. Jesus is waiting on you. No one needs to live with crabgrass choking their mulch beds. I hate crabgrass.