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Pricker Bush


      When we moved to a new home, we did not know the identities of much of the vegetation in the yard. There was a bush, a pleasant shape, with small, green leaves, that seemed to be part of the landscaping. We waited to see what flowers or fruit it might produce. After waiting and watching for two years, it appeared to produce only prickers!
      Since our vegetable garden was planted next to this bush, the bush only grew bigger and more prickly, and was blocking the garden vegetables from sun and nutrients
and competed for water. After a baby rabbit was caught nibbling in the garden, we also realized that this pricker bush was providing ground cover for the rabbits to sneak under the fence and eat the vegetables. This pricker bush had to go!
      Being fed up with the useless and treacherous pricker bush, I attacked the bush with saw, my hands protected by heavy gardening gloves. After much battling with the prickly branches, the main branches were cut down and dragged to a pile of brush. All that was left was a pile of pricker stumps.
      I jubilantly reflected on this victory over the pricker bush and that the garden plants were no longer living under the oppression of the pricker bush and no longer were fighting for survival to have more sunlight, water and nutrients. I also soon realized that my fingers had more than eight splinters from the vicious prickers on the bush, despite the precaution of wearing gloves. Those prickers had pierced right through the gloves, each pricker like a tiny injection of wrath from the pricker bush.
      So it is with lifeā€”the fight for freedom from tyranny and evil has a price tag and sometimes, it is not obvious right away. In this case, I was able to remove every splinter, including one particularly long one. Several got slightly infected and my fingers were sore for a couple of days, but recovered with no lasting effects.
      I read that prickers and thorns can be dangerous, since the pierce the skin. Rose thorns sometimes contain a fungus, which if it pierces the skin, can cause serious illness.
      When confronted with tyranny or evil, we need to pray for wisdom and take every precaution, in confronting it, and then trust our Heavenly Father to bring us through.
      And we still need to dig up the trunk and roots of this prinker bush, so that it will not grow again!