Saturday, August 02, 2008

Nettles Used to Be...

...such a nice-sounding word

the kind of word you read in a Beatrix Potter story

a proper English-sounding word

a word that's fun to say because of the way

your tongue gets to flop around in your mouth when you say it

"Nettles! Nettles! Nettles!"

Yes, I used to like the word nettles.

That is, until I moved to this farm and learned what nettles really are.


Nettles are evil.

Nettles are hideous.

Nettles are lurking, waiting to attack.

Nettles are EVERYWHERE!

Nettles are sin incarnate!

If you want a good picture of how bad sin is, observe the nettle.

Nettles have thorny little stickers coming at you from all angles.

I've done quite a lot of thinking on my sin lately because I've pulled a lot of nettles.

Every envious thought I've had is a nettle.

Every time I've put my own desires above the Lord's desires is a nettle.

Every grumbling, complaining attitude is a nettle.

Every faithless worry is a nettle.

In short, my garden is full of nettles!

But, thankfully, "where sin abounds, grace much more abounds."

The Lord is my gardener, and He's about the business of tending His garden.

Nettles, like sin, have deep roots.

They can't be impatiently snatched or they'll just break off and grow right back.

You have to get to the root of the matter.

That requires pulling with a firm grip and slow, steady pressure.

Sins are the same-deeply rooted.

And only the slow, patient, steady hand of our Heavenly Father can rid us of them.

I'm thankful for my Heavenly Gardener, and I'm thankful for the nettles He created.


But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air; and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.
(Job 12:7-10)

(Stinging Nettles: Flowers in Close Up by David Boaq
Photo from


Anonymous said...

No nettles here in southwest Indiana...but plenty of sin in my garden. What a good "picture" of our sin. I'm so thankful for the Master Gardener in my life.


Livvy said...

What a lovely allegory. I just read in our new composting book that nettles pulled and thrown into the compost pile add an especially high amount of nitrogen, so it seems that the weeding brings forth pleasant fruit later on :)
We are wishing we were closer for many reasons but the chickens and CSA baskets are causing nettles of envy to spring forth.
With much love,

Anonymous said...

Amen. I discovered them as soon as we moved here and I went barefoot in our yard. :( They have also re-appeared at our grape plants several times...uggg.


The Lingo Clan said...


How blessed you are to have no nettles to deal with in Indiana!

Wow! It's wonderful to know that all that weeding will pay off next year in the compost pile!

We are looking forward to y'all visiting, and we hope it will be soon!