Right after Thanksgiving, to celebrate our 22nd anniversary, my husband and I hopped in the van and left the brrr-y cold midwest for sunny Florida! Yayyy!! The further south we drove we noticed lots of kudzu covered trees, fences, even road signs.
It was first introduced to the U.S. at a world’s fair in 1876 as a lovely vine from Asia to cover old fences or unsightly posts. Gardners soon discovered that not only would it cover the fence, but the house, the barn and even the cows if they stood still too long!
Some claimed kudzu could grow a foot an day, but I read that was a misnomer. It actually grows two!
Summertime, it covers everything with big green leaves and purple blossoms. Not so bad. But when it drops those pretty leaves and flowers in the late fall and winter, it’s an ugly sight to behold — acres of devestated woods and grounds. Here’s some pictures showing it’s effects in all seasons:
Why all this Kudzu talk? Because of this verse:
“See to it that… no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” Hebrews 12:15
Just as Kudzu blankets the trees, choking them and blocking the sun, so does bitterness blanket our souls. It chokes our faith, and blocks the Son of God from shining in our lives.
And, like Kudzu, bitterness spreads quickly and “defiles many”.
As we drove passed the decimated woods, the radio serenaded us with cheerful Christmas music. How ironic! It reminded me of gifts, though, which reminded me of the wonderful gift God gives us that can choke out pesky bitterness ~~ grace.
“…his glorious GRACE, which he has FREELY GIVEN us in the One he loves.” Ehpesians 1:6
Later in Ephesians it says God lavishes
grace on us, just pours it out.
The verse above, that warns us not to let bitterness take root in our lives, starts out by warning us not to miss out on grace: “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no root of bitterness grows up…”
So maybe that’s how we let bitterness take root in our hearts in the first place — we forget about grace. God lavishes us with it. That means we have a lot to share.
- kudzu flower
The Kudzu prayer: The Bible says to bless our enemies and curse not. (Romans 12:14). So let’s pour some blessings/grace on those who bring out the bitter in us. We’ll do this by praying for them. Start by thinking of the creep person. (just kidding) See her/his name in your head?
Ok, now “blank it” below. Hmmm?! In other words, fill in the blanks below with her/his name. You’re going to “blank it” them with blessings like Kudzu blankets the trees, but pray for better results. 🙂 Doing this small thing might just help stifle the bitterness and let the Son shine in!
So, here goes:
“Oh, Father in Heaven, thank you for your grace. You poured it out on me, help me to pour it out on others. _______ comes to mind. Father, please bless _______. Please give ______ a spirit of wisdom and revelation so that he/she may know you better. (Ephesians 1:7) May You be his/her hiding place. May you keep her/him from trouble. Surround _______ with songs of deliverance. (Psalm 32:7). In Jesus’ name, amen.”