In 1975 I made my first trip from Oklahoma through the southern states of Arkansas, Tennessee and Alabama. It was springtime and everything was lovely and green. Especially beautiful was the ivy I saw growing on the trees along the highway. When I commented on this to my friend, who was a native southerner, she said, “That’s kudzu! It’s a parasite that will destroy the trees. We’ll come back this way some day and there will be no trees, just kudzu. There’s no way to kill it and it just takes over everything in its path.”
Kudzu was brought to the United States in 1902 to be used in soil erosion control. Farmers were paid $8.00 an acre to plant it. A few years later, they discovered that when they no longer wanted a field of kudzu, it was very difficult to get rid of. It not only thrived but it became aggressive. Cutting it back seemed to make it more hardy and it turned out to be practically impossible to uproot. In 1970, kudzu was declared a weed. This beautiful plant that was welcomed into our environment had become a nuisance to be reckoned with.
So, the question is, do we have any kudzu in our lives? Perhaps there is something that at one time appeared beautiful, useful and beneficial, so we invited it into our lives. But now, the hold it has on us is too strong and destructive. We feel we are being consumed and that soon our life will be nothing but kudzu.
The good news is that even though getting rid of kudzu may be impossible for us, with God anything is possible. God can get rid of all the parasites in our lives. And he will. All we have to do is ask.
What better time to ask than during the Advent season, as we prepare our hearts to welcome the Christ Child.
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 NIV