A Poison Ivy Wreath

This week we have seen the beautiful colors of fall in St. Louis! As my kids were playing outside, they kept showing me the colorful leaves that they would find. So, I decided we should make an autumn wreath for our front door.

Oh, they had a blast finding all the leaves around the yard. But I specifically wanted them to get the red and orange ones.

Then my girls and I glued them to a cardboard circle. While we waited for the wreath to dry, we all played outside. I noticed a bunch of orange and red leaves on a vine twirling up a tree.

“Hey honey, what is that?” I said pointing to the colorful vine.

“Poison Ivy… or poison oak,” my husband replied.

I did a little gulp… no way… So, I had to verify by checking out Google…

Yep… we just made a beautiful fall wreath out of poison ivy and poison oak… I itched a little bit…

But they were so pretty… yet still just as bad…

It’s like this lie wrapped up in beautiful colors.

It’s that little bit of hope we are looking for but in all the wrong places.

 

a poison ivy wreath

We all fall into this trap… even as Christians…

We know we should find our purpose, our identity, our comfort, our hope… (ok, I can literally put anything here) … We know we should place all that in Jesus.

But we see beautiful colors… then we don’t realize it’s poison.

My family and I just watched the remake of Aladdin.  I honestly loved it. I felt like a kid again. And let me just say, no one else could have played a better Genie than Will Smith!  But what I loved most about this version was that they spelled out the messages of the movie… (maybe they did in the original, but it’s been a while.)

1- You cannot live a lie. It will consume you. The Genie was able to make Aladdin look like a prince on the outside,  BUT what is on the inside is what mattered. And guess what? The princess didn’t like the showy prince; she liked the man inside- Aladdin. 

Appearance changes nothing. No matter what is going on in your life- you are a child of God. Don’t forget that. We live in a fallen world. A world full of sin, hurt, and pain. We can try to pretend we have it all together, but that’s a lie. We don’t. We can’t do this life alone. We weren’t designed to. We must free ourselves from the bondage of slavery to sin by admitting we are sinful and in need of a Savior. 

2- Having more will not make you happy. The Genie told Aladdin over and over again that having more would not make him happy. More money. More power. More _____. It can’t. Happiness doesn’t come from stuff. 

There is only one thing that can truly satisfy- Jesus. We were designed for a relationship with Creator. Yet, we look to all those worldly things- created things- to fill that void.   

3- Having more changes people. As Aladdin got what he wanted in the movie, he wanted more of it. We have the same tendencies. We have success, we want more. We have money, we want more. 

What if… what if we sought more of God? What if we sought to share God with everyone we could?

How great would our world be if we were all filled with Christ! Actions are an overflow of the heart. 

Remember God created everything good, sin corrupted it all.

So, what’s leading your life? What’s consuming your heart?

Where are your treasures? Your family? Your job? Your status? Other people’s opinions? A hobby? 

It looks pretty. It looks harmless. And maybe it is… but maybe, maybe it’s poison.

You don’t have to sit back and pretend that everything is perfect. We all have struggles. We all have problems.   We live in a fallen world. Sin has corrupted everything. Even a beautiful plant. It’s not what it seems. We must stand guard. 

The Bible tells us to guard our hearts above all else because everything we do flows from it. Everything. Where your heart is, there is your treasure. 

Ask yourself,  “Is your treasure heaven?” 

If you cannot honestly answer yes, I understand. We live in a world full of sin and temptation. But that is not a free pass to sin. It is a reason to draw closer to our Creator. 

We have to guard our hearts. We have to recognize that sin wrapped up in pretty colors. There is only one thing that can satisfy that longing in your heart. When you start to feel that emptiness. When you start to reach for that idol to fill that void- stop and pray. Shift your focus to God.  Ask God to see this situation through His eyes. 

Don’t fall into the trap of a beautiful sin. Fall into the arms of your God!