As the rain fell over a few days time, I looked out of our window and could actually see the garden growing day by day. It was amazing! After the rain stopped and the ground dried up, I sauntered outside to check out the fruits of our labor. The lettuce was thriving, tomatos are struggling a bit, the watermelon has begun to sprout and there are squash plants are yielding yellow blooms. But, there were mystery plants in the center of the garden…lots of ’em…that were towering above the squash and cucumber that I so carefully planted. I made sure that I read and followed the directions when I planted so our garden wouldn’t be so overcrowded this year. So, why does it still look so overcrowded? I looked closer. Those healthy, hearty plants that were towering above the rest were WEEDS! How dare they plant themselves in my garden. They were actually shading the cucumber so much that it was hindering their growth. Tell me, why is it that weeds can grow and thrive with little water and no sun? And why is it that these weeds particular weeds can get the same amount of sun and rain in the same dirt and grow head and shoulders above my intended crop?
As I hop the picket fence and bend down to start my work, I began think. (What else was I going to do? It looked like I was going to be here for a while.) Sin and weeds. Sin doesn’t need to be intentionally fed to grow. Simply ignoring the sin actually allows it to fester and bloom just like these weeds in my garden. There are some weeds in my garden that look like they are just clumps of pasture, however, when I pull the clump I find that the root systems are wide spread and thick under the soil. Those roots, when removed, pull up substantial amounts of dirt and leave gaping holes in my garden. I grab my trowel and start hacking away…knocking the dirt from the root system so some of it can be preserved. If these weeds keep reappearing…some Preen (a weed suppressor) may be needed. But, even Preen needs to be re-applied. Just like this garden, my life needs a daily weed pluckin’. Time with the Lord in prayer, Bible study with sleeves rolled up and really digging, constant evaluation and re-evaluation of every situation with Biblical lenses, a weed barrier in the form of Christian friends and relationships, strong marriages rooted in the Lord, and a border or edging that guards from invasive elements that can come in the form of TV, music, temptations and idols that may come in any number of forms. Weeds choke, weeds shadow, they spread, kill, and entangle.
This brings to mind Mark 4.
7“Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no crop.8“Other seeds fell into the good soil, and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”9And He was saying, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
18“And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, 19 but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.20“And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”
Is the garden of your life unattended? Are you standing in rocky, dry soil? Are you weeding the garden more than once a week? Have the weeds taken over? Time to call on the Master Gardener…daily. It may be uncomfortable while He pulls, prunes and turns the soil with His shovel; but the result will be one of amazing growth and life.