Monday, May 19, 2014

Will the Real Verbena Show Out?

I love spring and the hope of flowers to come. Nothing excites me more than to have a full day before me with nowhere to go, except maybe a quick run to Starbucks for a latte.

I dress quickly, sometimes heading out the door without even running a comb through my hair. That's how eager I am to get my hands in dirt.

The early morning hours are the best time of day. It's peaceful and cool, the birds are singing, and the sun is low on the horizon.

One morning recently, I was working on a bed of pink verbena. This past winter had been especially rough and some of my plants had died. Weeds grew in their place, resembling the verbena, insinuating themselves alongside the beauty of the real thing.

At times, it was difficult to distinguish the verbena from the weed. The weed produced a flower almost identical to the bloom of the verbena.

It occurred to me, as I was putting on my glasses to make sure I pulled up the right plant, that Satan uses the same tactics with us. Whatever God does, he has a counterfeit to slip into our midst to mask his identity. It may look and feel much like the real thing that we're caught in its trap, unless we put on our spiritual glasses to inspect it closely.

The weeds growing in my verbena were actually pretty, but if I'd left them alone, they would have choked out the real plants and eventually all my beautiful flowers would have died. The same is true in our spiritual lives. If we allow worldly things to override the living God in us, we become useless to Him. Our lives will lose its joy and we'll struggle for meaning and purpose.

As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful." 
Matthew 13:22 ESV

The only way to prevent unwanted weeds in the garden of our soul is to keep our spiritual glasses on at all times so we can recognize the weeds when they creep in. Staying grounded in the study of the Word is necessary to know the difference between the real and the phony.

Has there been a time in your life when you've allowed a thing of beauty to mask itself? What were the warning signs you missed along the way? I'd love to hear your experiences in the comments.

Any gardening tips would be greatly appreciated as well.

Happy Spring!

Cindy O'Brien is a novice gardener at best, but it's great therapy. You can visit her blog, My Little Corner, at


  1. Beautiful words, Cindy, and so very true. We need to remember, like your beautiful flower garden, we are God's beautiful creations and we must not let Satan move in on us in any way.

    1. Thank you Melanie! I appreciate you adding your thoughts. :)

  2. Thank you for sharing these lovely devotional thoughts, Cindy!

    1. My pleasure Britney! I love sharing Biblical principles in a practical way. Thanks for taking the time to comment. It's much appreciated!

  3. Beautiful words. I love to sit outside, but my plants are very glad I leave them alone. . :-)

    1. Thank you Patricia. Awe…you'd be surprised, they're pretty resilient! I've learned by trial and error, mostly error. I love to sit outdoors too, definitely a porch kind of girl.