Thursday, June 21, 2007

Weeds in My Garden
copyright 2007, lani wiens
a fresh flowers original

A flower came popping up among my weeds today. I'm actually loving having all this garden space, which I know will be a shock to some. There is something inherently therapeutic about pulling weeds by hand. Ripping those life-sucking critters out, knowing that you are doing something very good for your plants, is deeply satisfying.

Out here on the farm we use all manner of ways to get rid of those weeds. We get down on our hands and knees, we use various types of hoes, we use the small roto-tiller, we spray, we use the small cultivator on the back of the garden tractor and for the really big stuff the John Deere 4230 with the big cultivator attached.

Late last week I used the hoe on my cucumber beds, they looked pretty good when I was done. Yesterday, we were all in the corn patch, me on my hands and knees, Fireboy with a hoe, the two little boys smashing and ripping the 'bad guys' up and my Music-man with the pull-hoe. Once we were done there wasn't a weed in sight, only my lovely rows of corn and black dirt. My, oh my that felt good.

Today we went after the potato patch. Fireboy and I with hoes and then I turned him loose with the roto-tiller since the patch was so big. Once again we felt good about taking all those weeds out. Then I happened to go by my cucumber beds that had been done such a short time ago. Over the weekend we had a lovely rain and then the last couple of days have been very sunny. Rain and sun make things grow. Plants as well as weeds. You would never know that I had weeded the cucumber patch. The weeds were thick and healthy looking. It was discouraging, but it made me think.

Many days I feel overrun by weeds. My sins look huge and overwhelming. I feel like my life is not bearing fruit or very lovely to look at. It's time to weed. I repent and ask for forgiveness yet it doesn't take long and those weeds are poking their heads up again. I get mad at my weeds and wish they would disappear but they just seem to keep coming back. One thing my dad, an excellent gardener taught me about gardening is this – if you want to have a clean garden, then weed clean. I always groaned when he said that and now my kids are groaning as I say it to them. To weed clean means to get down on your knees and take a good look at those weeds, yank them out by the roots and then carry them far away from your garden to dispose of them. When this is done regularly, that variety of weed will diminish and eventually, be eradicated from your garden. Not hard to see the spiritual application there is it? Get on your knees, take a good look at the weeds that the Holy Spirit is showing you, then locate the roots and yank it out. Take that weed to the foot of the cross and let the Master Gardener dispose of it. It will diminish and eventually be gone from your life. Not a bad pay off I'm thinking. There are times to take the big cultivator out and there are times for on your knees weeding we need to be discerning.

The interesting part is that while God doesn't put the weed seeds in our life but God causes all things to grow! The difficulties that come our way to grow our character make us grow and the weeds show up. The sunshine of His love causes us to grow and the weeds show up. The same environment that grows our faith and character shows the weeds for what they are. Very often it is right after a time of great spiritual rain and sunshine that the biggest, ugliest weeds poke their heads out and seem to flourish! The good news is that right after a rain is the easiest time to pull them out, when the soil of our spirits is soft and pliable. Another piece of good news is that the good stuff is growing, too and sooner or later will bear fruit. So don't grow weary in doing good – pulling out the weeds of sin – for if you do not give up you will reap a harvest of righteousness!

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