Dandelions have beautiful, soft yellow flowers. They are the color of sunshine and would seemingly make me happy just to see them. I am, after all, someone who just loves the sun. (In fact during the winter when I spend so much time indoors and it is rainy/snowy here in Virginia, I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder from lack of sunlight.) But I digress!
Dandelions are edible and have powerful, curative powers. I know this. However I don't eat them, nor do I boil the leaves to make a broth, nor for any other purpose. So for me, they are a problem to be solved; a challenge to be undertaken; an inconvenience to be dealt with.
You can't just pull up a dandelion by the leaves, giving it a good, quick yank! Yikes, no! You must push away any grass, rocks, or anything else that is between the surface of the ground and the stem/root.
Then you must skillfully dig your fingers in as deeply as you can and twist, twist, twist until you have pulled up the entire dandelion root system. Unless you remove it completely, it will regenerate. If you break off more pieces than you unearth, the dandelion wins.
"Dandelions are especially well-adapted to a modern world of "disturbed habitats," such as lawns and sunny, open places. They were even introduced into the Midwest from Europe to provide food for the imported honeybees in early spring. They now grow virtually worldwide. Dandelions spread further, are more difficult to exterminate, and grow under more under adverse circumstances than most competitors." (http://www.wildmanstevebrill.com/Plants.Folder/Dandelion.html)
Today, I spent time unearthing these intruders upon my "disturbed habitat" otherwise known as my perennial garden. I couldn't help but think about how firmly rooted and difficult to uproot the sin in our lives can be--just like the dandelion. Sometimes our actions or thoughts take on a pretty disguise. Sometimes we can even talk ourselves into thinking that what we are doing is not so bad. "How can anything so much fun/so enjoyable/so attractive/so soothing/so distracting be sinful?"
That is Satan talking to us. He is at the root of that dandelion sin. He digs in deep and settles in for the long haul. He's adaptable; he's hard to exterminate too. He crops up under adverse circumstances -- just when we are at our weakest -- or at our strongest! Yes, sometimes we begin to rely upon ourselves and Satan loves to take advantage of that lie as well.
The deeper we allow the roots of sin to grow, the more difficult it becomes for us to root it out. We have to work even harder and more skillfully, with more intention and determination to dig out all the way to the bottom of that stem.
We all know what happens when a dandelion is left to itself and grows undeterred: A beautiful white "puff ball" of dandelion seeds waits for a good strong wind and multiplies itself a hundred times over.
That's why its crucial to keep ourselves in check. We must stay in the Word, read our bibles, associate with other Christians who are on the right path. If we mingle with those who live "of the world" we will become worldy, prone toward sin. We need to weed out all the sin in our lives as soon as we become aware of it. That is when we must ask God to take away all of our sin -- to root out even the parts we can't see, that part that may have worked its way under the surface and taken a firm hold.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. (Psalm 51:7 NIV)
let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:22 NIV)
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10 NIV)