That pile of leaves hides what's going on. Underneath I know there is a mess. But I don't even want to bother looking until the weather changes. Two years ago the herbs, flowers and butterflies were in abundance. Last year? Not so good. I did not clean out the signs of danger I saw creeping up in the spring. Summer's heat advanced and the vines and weeds crept through my flowers and I couldn't tell the good from the bad. Now I try to pull up one thing and it is so intertwined with another that I can't see what I am doing. I am not prepared and cannot uproot the bad junk by hand.
I see strongholds like vines. They are entangled and give strength to one another. It's hard to tell what's there. After years of growth, there is such a mess. God, please separate the roots. Pull them apart. Help us to see them for what they are. Identifying each variety is only the beginning. Mustering the strength to pull them out by the root must come next. Finally, we must prevent their return. Daily we stand over the garden of our soul and survey the ground for signs of reappearing strongholds.
Envision the beauty that spring can be. The surface of my heart, my marriage, my home will be like the surface of my flower garden, smooth and clean. Sunlight will filter in between the leaves and buds. It finds a place to land because the junk is gone. The warmth spreads giving life and growth to all it reaches. The ground is so clean we could easily spot new growth of unwanted vines. Will we be aware? Will we notice them before they choke out the colors of all that is good? The roots hidden in darkness must not be given the freedom to intertwine and choke out all we hold dear.
Where are these strongholds? Under dead leaves of complacency.