There is something satisfying about pulling weeds from your garden. Clearing out that less than desirable part to leave room for the things you truly want to grow.
This week I found myself out in a little flower bed next to the side entry of our home. Was it ever overgrown! Weeds were everywhere–growing in the bed, around it, even through the cracks of our walkway! Actually, I was pretty certain the entire bed was only weeds. I had good intentions for this little plot earlier this spring, something involving oregano, it’s vague now. Time just seemed to get away from me and so did the weeds. As I pulled, I began to notice a patch of gorgeous flowers, much like tiny sunflowers with yellow petals and brown centers. These little volunteers were joined by a few marigolds, one enormous sunflower, and three tomato plants tall enough for cages, all of which were overshadowed by the enormous weeds.
This is the fourth home we have lived in with a small flower garden left behind by a previous owner. However, this was the first time I had ever let weeds grow up high enough to discover what would come up naturally. With perspiration beading on my forehead, I contemplated how many flowers I may have weeded in the past in an attempt to keep a garden tidy. I’m rather glad I let this garden get a bit weedy, because it prompted a thought about God’s work in our lives.
Sometimes the garden of our faith gets a bit weedy too. Maybe we have too many commitments, or a few bad habits. Much like the weeds in our physical garden, our spiritual weeds are fairly harmless at first. That is until they grow out of control and choke out the things that you really wanted there in the first place. Spiritual “weeds” keep popping up and growing bigger and more numerous until we choose to remove them. It is in the removal of those weeds that we can see the beauty of what God has given us. If you are a Christian, your weeds may be keeping you from fulfilling your purpose of glorifying God– “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” -1 Corinthians 10:22.
I’m a stay-at-home mom. Some days my “weeds” include lamenting over the sink full of dishes, toys strewn over the floor, cat litter that hasn’t been changed in weeks. Sometimes those weeds are concern for the wellbeing of a family member that leads me to skip a bible study . Or watching too many episodes of a favorite TV show after the kids have gone to bed and not preparing myself for the next day. God lets our weeds grow, but it is up to us to determine which of those weeds are actually useful.
In Matthew 13:24-30, Jesus tell the parable of the weeds.
“He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you rood up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.”
In Matthew 13:35-43 Jesus explained the meaning of this parable to his disciples.
“…The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. The the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father..”
While Jesus was obviously talking about the kingdom of God, we have to also remember that weeds in our spiritual lives work the same way. They will keep us from shining like the sun while we are here on earth.
This post is a little lengthy, but I hope you ladies out there found it edifying. I’m going to continue on this little train of thought over the next few posts.
“Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. May not copy or download more than 500 consecutive verses of the ESV Bible or more than one half of any book of the ESV Bible.”