Woodshed Wisdom

By Freeman Martin

Have you ever tried to cut down vines that had been left unattended for way too long? I went after some in the back yard the other day with my trusty clippers. It must have been a sight to see. Probably could have won first prize on that home video television show!

Some of these vines had grown to the tops of the trees and out every limb until they completely covered a bunch of trees. I would cut some loose down low near the ground and then start trying to pull them out of the limbs and tree tops. It seemed like they had a life of their own.

The more I cut, the more they grew. Cut and pull. Pull and cut. And when I could get a couple of small ones to the ground, they took revenge for their friends by wrapping themselves around my feet and legs and dared me to take a step.  

I remember a place back home at Route 4 that we called ‘kudzu hollow.’ All you could see in any direction in this place was nothing but kudzu. That stuff will grow anywhere anytime in any kind of weather. Daddy used to tell us that there are three things you just can’t get rid of – wild onions, crabgrass, and kudzu.

We even tried building a pasture fence around kudzu and turning the cows loose on it. Didn’t work. You can build an interstate highway through the stuff and it’ll keep on growing on each side of the road. I guess you could burn it up, but then everything that it’s growing on will be burned also.

Thought about that green stuff recently while I was studying what God told His messenger, Malachi, to tell God’s people (Malachi 4:1-4). It seems like God’s people were acting like kudzu. Going anywhere and doing anything they pleased. Even to the point of tripping up other people and making them fall. People were getting all tangled up in their lives. Like trying to walk with vines wrapped around your feet and legs. Through Malachi, God called them arrogant evildoers. And He told them about a day that was coming that would be unlike any other day they had ever known. That reminds me of a bumper snicker I saw once that said “you think it’s hot here?”

That day that is surely coming will be like setting a field of kudzu on fire! It will burn like a furnace (v.1), so hot that not even a root will be left. That’s the bad news. Here’s the good news. For those who worship and have reverence for the Lord, there will be a ‘Sunrise of Healing.’ Like a brand new sunny day after a rainy night. And He promises (v.2) that we will be like young calves let out of the barn into the pasture. I can identify with that. Have you ever stood at the barn and seen calves frolicking and kicking up their heels with joy at being set free?

On that day, and what a day that will be (we ought to sing that old gospel song more!), those who do wrong and evil in God’s sight will be just ashes for us to trample under the soles of our feet. If we keep our souls in His Commandments (v.4). Just like kudzu, bad people doing bad things will always be around. And sometimes they’ll even get us tangled up and make us fall down and get hurt.

It’s been a long time since Malachi the Messenger brought that message. And it seems like there’s kudzu everywhere. From the ‘backyards to the barnyards’ of the world we live in today. Evil in every direction as far as we can see.

But the promise of the Big Day (Judgment Day) should be enough to keep us out of ‘Kudzu Hollow.’