I love gardening. There’s something about digging in the dirt and watching things grow and blossom that takes me to a happy place. What I don’t like are weeds. I swear they are the bane of my existence! No matter how thoroughly I pull and spray and mulch, in a week there will be another weed rearing it’s ugly head as if to mock me saying (in a weird french accent – don’t ask me why), “So, you think you can eliminate me entirely? Ha! Zeez will be too hard for you, and I will never defeated!” Enter maniacal laughter – I swear they do laugh!
I find my life can resemble my garden sometimes. There are many pieces of my life I love, pieces that are full of growth and beauty. I’ve learned the peace that comes from digging into the dirt in my life with God and working together to clean it up so that good things can replace the barren or the weak and beauty can grow there, too. What I’ve never seemed to master is the weeds.
Ugh! I hate the weeds in my life, those ugly, persistent deep-rooted challenges that even after I’ve worked with God to clean up and prune, still manage to pop up in my life seemingly out of the blue. You know what i’m talking about? It’s the conversation I react to even though I know I’m over-reacting, or the hours lost in negative self-reflection that serve no purpose other than to make me miserable. Or–my personal weed I absolutely hate–the pop-up thoughts of all my failures and all my fears that come and try to choke out all of the good and the growth inside of me. It’s frustrating and I hate it!
Jesus talks about the weeds in Luke 8. He compares our hearts to soil saying, “A farmer went out to sow his seed. Some of it fell on the road; it was tramped down and the birds ate it. Other seed fell in the gravel; it sprouted, but withered because it didn’t have good roots. Other seed fell in the weeds; the weeds grew with it and strangled it. Other seed fell in rich earth and produced a bumper crop.” The first two challenges are struggling with unbelief or not being deeply rooted in the truth of God’s word making change short-lived, and I’ve certainly had those moments, too. But note it’s the plant that’s actively growing, a good, vibrant, healthy plant, that can literally get choked out and ruined even though it was strong. And that’s exactly how my personal weeds can make me feel–suffocated, weak or worthless despite the many victories I’ve experienced.
In moments of personal attack I’ve learned the power of walking side-by-side with the Master Gardner, Jesus. He teaches me how to cultivate, weed and prune the soil of my heart and life for growth. His word, the Bible, is such an effective weapon for eliminating the weeds, as are prayer and openness (see below for scriptures). When I feel like the weeds and the worry are beginning to choke out and overwhelm me, He reminds me to be patient and take my time, dealing with each issue–not perfectly, but consistently–so beautiful growth can occur. How awesome is that?!
So today I choose to let Jesus deal with the weeds. No matter what I face, He can help me tackle it. I may not have all the answers, but I don’t need to. With the Master Gardener by my side, I know I’m sure to experience growth and beauty in abundance.
For Further Thought: In Matthew 13, Jesus says, “And you know people who hear the word, but it is choked inside them because they constantly worry and prefer the wealth and pleasures of the world: they prefer drunken dinner parties to prayer, power to piety, and riches to righteousness. Those people are like the seeds sown among thorns. The people who hear the word and receive it and grow in it—those are like the seeds sown on good soil. They produce a bumper crop, 30 or 60 or 100 times what was sown.” What are some of the weeds or thorns that grow up in your life? This week, prayerfully begin tackling one of them through prayer and reading God’s word. As promised, here are some scriptures to get you started: Ephesians 6:10-18; Philippians 4:8; Romans 8:18-39 (worth the length-promise!); Romans 10:17; James 5:16