Dr. Jackie Minor
Those Pesky Weeds!
As I shared last week, I love nature and the outdoors. I always look forward to summer time. I grew up in Kansas where we had four distinct seasons. Each season revealed creation’s beauty. Fall brought colorful leaves. Winter gave us soft, white snow. Spring produced new blooms. Summer generated flowers, garden vegetables…and weeds.
We live in Texas now. While there are four seasons, the variances are more subtle. Summers are hotter, so I have to be a bit more diligent in the watering department. This year has been quite unique as we have had more rain than usual. As a result, the flowers are still in full bloom, and the grass is still green. Unfortunately, the weeds are flourishing, too. It drives me nuts. Weeds are like uninvited guests to the party. They simply don’t belong.
Last week as I was attempting to minimize the weed invasion in my flower beds, God spoke once again. He knows I love nature, and it is through nature that He often whispers to my spirit. I love that about Him.
Check out His “weed” analogies.
Weeds are part of part of life.
I personally don’t think this was the original plan. If you remember, everything changed in Genesis 3 as a result of sin. When sin entered the world, the ground was cursed. Weeds became a part of our world.
Weeds in our lives can come in many different forms (e.g., unforgiveness, pride, fear, anger). Just as weeding is required for a beautiful garden, repentance is essential when it comes to keeping sin at bay. David knew all too well the damage sin could cause. His words in the Psalms offer guidance and hope.
The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God. Psalm 51:17
Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me— now let me rejoice. Psalm 51:7-8
Weeds have to be pulled out by the roots; otherwise, they return stronger. Sometimes weeds have deep root structures. When I am weeding, I am often tempted to just pull of the top because that is easier and that is the part that is seen. I have learned when I refuse to go deep and remove the roots, the roots grow stronger in an effort to send more growth to the top of the plant. As a result, I have to work even harder to keep my flower beds looking nice.
It is so much easier to deal with sin early on when the roots are shallow. However, when sin takes hold, the roots take anchor; partially addressing the sin (tearing off the top) only makes things worse. Pretty soon the weeds take over and our joy is gone.
Removing these type of weeds (sins) requires hard work. We have to get out the shovel (prayer and the Word of God) and dig deep!
Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. Romans 6:12-14
Weeds are never gone.
Satan will continue to plant weeds in our lives. Expect it. The intent is to steal our joy and ruin our witness. He wants to choke out God’s purpose in our lives. We must be vigilant, always looking for and removing weeds of doubt, fear, anger, and pride.
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. I Peter 5: 8-9
Tend to your own weeds.
This may sound a little crazy, but when I see a weed in a beautiful flowerbed, I want to pull it out even if the flowerbed is not mine. This is especially the case if the flowerbed belongs to one of my neighbors! After all, I would be helping them out, right?
Years ago a friend of mine went through a difficult time and sought out Christian counseling. I can vividly remember an insightful piece of advice: “Stay on your side of the fence, and take care of your own garden.”
Focusing on others will only allow the weeds in our own lives to thrive. Jesus warned us about this in Matthew 7.
“And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Matthew 7:3-4
August will be here shortly. If we take care of the weeds now, we will reap the benefits for our new school year. Summer time for educators is a time to rest and enjoy the flowers. It is also a time to do some intentional weeding! What weeds need to be pulled out of your life today? Doubt? Fear? Pride? Unforgiveness?
God wants us to enjoy the season of summer and fully experience the joy that comes from being in a right relationship with Him!
The Lord is righteous in everything he does; he is filled with kindness. The Lord is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth.
Psalm 145: 17-18