“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” — Psalm 139:23-24
If you do any sort of yard work, have you ever noticed the things you don’t want to grow tend to do so easily and spread quickly? And the things you actually do want to grow are tougher to keep healthy?
Illustrations such as these help us understand our own hearts. The apostle Paul dealt with the problem of weeds, just as we do. He too was frustrated by the pattern of things dying that he wanted to grow, and things growing that he wanted to die. “I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do — this I keep on doing” (Romans 7:18-19). It’s so easy for sin to grow!
This is why we all need teammates looking out for us, and coaches who can help us see what we can’t. We think we have an accurate view, but when it comes to our own garden, we need others to help us tend to it. Thankfully, we have the best help available in the Source of all life. When we can’t even sort our own hearts, we can turn to Him with this prayer from Psalm 139:23-24: “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Are you allowing God and others to help you identify weeds?
— Steve Hawthorne, New York Red Bulls chaplain
If you would like to submit a devotional, please email all submissions to