The Cemetery

Saturday, July 23, 2016
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Jesus Thou Joy Of Loving Hearts"1 (Lyrics)

Every spring around Memorial Day, I arrive at the cemetery where my parents, brother, and husband are buried, to discover nearly obscured tombstones. Due to abundant rain and warmer temperatures, quack grass quickly sprouts from one tiny seed and spreads out roots to form a thick, deep mat. It's such a chore to uproot, but once my spade severs the roots from the soil, they lift to the sunshine and dry out, and they've lost their grip. Soon, all the nasty stuff is pulled up and stuffed into paper sacks to carry home to my garbage pail. I leave behind hardy marigolds and tidy gravestones.

Recently, as I tugged hard at a particularly stubborn clump of roots, the thought came to me that many sins are like these quack grass roots. When we give in to temptation, a seed of desire takes root in our hearts and quickly spreads and becomes a habit. One moment of pleasure eventually affects every area of life. As Paul wrote, sin takes control once it's embedded.

Romans 7:24-25 – Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God's law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. (NLT)

We often rely upon our own consistent, intensive efforts to break free from a habit, like smoking or overeating, and then continue to find ourselves struggling. Like the quack grass at the cemetery, uprooting sin becomes next to impossible, but there is a remedy other than our own struggling efforts.

Just as my spade severs roots from soil, so God severs the pull that sin has on us when we turn to Him. Paul points to Jesus Christ Who conquered sin and death on the cross. While this might seem like pie in the sky to some, once a person accepts Jesus' sacrifice for our sins, something mysterious happens. The root of sin becomes severed from the soil of our souls, and then, exposed to the light of the Son, it withers, losing its tug on us. Some receive instantaneous freedom, while others find freedom in a gradual process that requires the support of others. Over time, they experience liberation from the sin that enslaved them.

John 8:36 – Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. (NKJV)

Prayer: Father God, we confess that we have failed at breaking away from the things that enslave us, and we need Your help to be free from them. Forgive us and liberate us, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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About the author:

Cassandra Wessel <>
Tionesta, Pennsylvania, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Great analogy Cass.

    A wonderful metaphor for the sin in our lives and the resolution through Christ!

    Wow Cassandra! Great reflection!!
    God bless you.

    Great illustration Cass. Thanks for sharing your insights.

    You paint a good picture of how sin can rout it’s self into our hearts.
    But thanks be to God that in Jesus His Son we who believe are saved!

    Dear Cassandra,
    I always enjoy your devotionals, but this one was especially timely for me. Thank you for giving us readers inspiration.

    Thank for these powerful words of wisdom. The world is so in need of “uprooting” of the evil and sin that is infesting our existence. We need to stay strong with the Word of God and our saviour Jesus Christ. Have a glorious day!

    Hello Cass:
    Thank you so much for this devotional, and for the beautiful image of you caring for the gravestones of your loved ones. Of course I’ve never met them, but suddenly I’m filled with gratitude for them and their lives.
    Which, in turn, makes me grateful for you.
    With rich blessings.

    Hi Cass,
    I don’t know what quack grass is (maybe it is called by another name where I live), but I know what it is like to try to uproot stubborn weeds so I understood your analogy. Thanks for reminding us that even our most persistent sins are forgiven when we have Jesus in our hearts. Sometimes we have a hard time forgiving ourselves so I appreciated reading your message today.

    Greetings, Cass.
    How well this devotional applies to my life. I struggled to quit smoking for such a long time. Then one night after church, as I lit up a cigarette in the parking lot, I heard a very distinctive but quiet voice say, “I want you to quit smoking”. My automatic response was, “This is a new pack. I’ll quit when I finish it.”
    The definite, firm yet gentle voice said, “No. Now!” And I replied in a rather annoyed manner I must admit, “Okay!” and flung the package out the window. It seemed this Person was sitting right there beside me it was so real, even today when I think back it is still real.
    I was instantly delivered from smoking and NEVER wanted another cigarette. I had smoked since I was 16 barring occasional short breaks when I was determined to quit. Of course that was in my own strength so it never lasted.
    Just another amazing story of grace He performed in my life for his purposes, His patience surely is never ending.

    Cass, A great devotional and wonderful analogy; thanks for this word.

    Dear Cassandra,
    Thank you for a very comprehensive and helpful devotional.
    Truly, God will undertake and give victory. “Call upon me and I will answer and do great and wonderful things,” he says.
    Keep writing and sticking with HIS TRUTH.

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