Hebrews 12:15, “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no ‘root of bitterness’ springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.”

This is a cow.

This is a bitterweed.

There’s a reason that weed is called a bitterweed,I promise.

Many of you may not know this about me, but I’m a country boy. I grew up around chickens, turkeys, cows, and a farm-esque environment.

So, as one grows up in a farm-like environment, there are things that need to be done. This ranges from feeding the “penned” animals (chickens and turkeys), milking the cows, watering the horses, etc…. There was never a dull moment for me growing up.

One of the many chores I had, was picking any weed out of the cow pasture that looked like the bitterweed pictured above. Like I said, it was called a bitterweed for a reason (An old Indian friend told me he made a tea out of this weed that would take anyway any head cold or stomach bug. I never took him up on this offer.) I never understood this particular chore and it was not my favorite, mainly because I was young and afraid of the momma Heifer. However, due to my young age, I was not suited for many of the chores my older siblings and cousins were suited for. Therefore, often it was my job to pull the bitterweeds out of the cow pasture.

I often slacked on this chore and never received punishment for doing so, until I sat down to breakfast one Saturday morning at my grandfather’s house and no one had milk in front of them to drink except me. I took one sip of my milk and I knew immediately what had happened. One of the Heifers had eaten enough of the bitterweed to make her milk sour. And it was my fault.

My grandfather taught me a hard lesson that day and that evening after my embarrassment had weaned off a little, he shared Hebrews 12:15 with me.

What’s the lesson here? Be diligent about the work your King has set before you and don’t let a bitter “root” spring up and ruin all the hard work you’ve done.