I was blessed this summer to travel back to North Dakota with my youngest daughter, Rebekah.
I was born in ND, but my family moved to Montana shortly after, and I didn't return again until 8th grade. High school was a painful experience and after Graduation, I knew I would never live in my hometown again.
But, not only was I born in ND, I was born-again in ND my freshman year of college at the University of North Dakota. The Lord began a healing and maturing work in my heart that He has faithfully continued.
I have returned rarely to visit, I have maintained a few precious friendships, and I have learned to look back and see the Lord's guidance, presence and purpose through all those difficult times.
Despite the pain and the confusion of those years, I have always loved the prairie and the people of North Dakota. Join me in the healing journey back...
While driving that last two lane highway north to my hometown, I noticed the ditches were filled with beautiful flowers. Yellow, white, purple, and orange blooms decorated the ditches in the spots not filled with cattails.
If I hadn't been in such a hurry to get to my friend's farm, I would have stopped to pick a bouquet. Their beauty just delighted and enticed me.
But, I knew deep in my heart she wouldn't see the beauty I saw, not because she doesn't appreciate beauty, but because she is a farmer.
She sees weeds for what they truly are- plants that would eventually destroy if not destroyed.
She and her husband, Tom, purchased her family farm and have continued the wonderfully agonizing career both grew up with. Those "flowers" infiltrate their wheat, canola and bean fields and they exert much sweat and money to battle against them.
They added a fleeting moment of beauty to my life, but hours of agony to hers.
There are the famous thistles you can't pull without leather gloves.
This one makes most people sneeze, wheeze,
blow their nose and wipe their eyes.
Cursed is the ground for your sake:
In toil you shall eat of it
All the days of your life.
Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,
And you shall eat the herb of the field.
In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
Till you return to the ground,
For out of it you were taken;
For dust you are,
And to dust you shall return.”
At first, when I drove through ND and saw those ditches filled with weeds, and the patches of the curse dotting grain fields, I saw beauty. I had to be reminded that they are noxious weeds and the farmers can't be fooled by outward enticement of the colorful blooms, they must kill them.
Then, I saw spiritual beauty. Those prairie weeds represented all things I once considered beautiful and enticing, but the Lord saw them correctly as sin.
The curse of sin given to Adam's race has been conquered by the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I am proof.
When I got saved at 18, the Lord graciously forgave me my sins and cleared the field of my heart from thorns and thistles. Sins that once looked so beautiful to me, were revealed to be the useless weeds.
And with the seed, the Word of God, planted daily in my heart, He has helped me to bear fruit. The Holy Spirit helps the harvest to be more bountiful, by showing me when weeds of sin have once again taken root in my heart.
Yea, even weeds preach a message of promised redemption to a fallen world.
Maybe I should have picked a bouquet after all. That would have been that many less weeds blowing their seed into Tom and Janet's fields.
next read Prairie Path