How is it even possible? To say that it was out of control would be an understatement… it was overwhelming… downright embarrassing… I honestly didn’t even know where to start. I would take one look at it and slink away in discouraged failure. Now, it wasn’t ALL my fault. I had gotten sick with COVID in early June, and it had rained so much over the last 6 weeks or so — and now my carefully thought out and planted garden was OVERRUN with weeds.
Seriously, I would have taken a picture, but again… the embarrassment. Many of those weeds dwarfed my tomato plants. How can weeds grow to 3 plus feet tall in 6 weeks? It doesn’t even seem possible! I dreaded the chore but couldn’t put if off any longer. The excuse of “I had COVID” just wasn’t cutting it any more. There was only one thing to do… starting at one corner of the garden, I began to pull up the weeds. They were so thick I had to move carefully to distinguish between the weeds and the garden plants.
It was tedious work. The ground was just a bit too soft… not quite muddy, yet not solid either. Long hours, bent over to task. And the piles of pulled weeds grew — I actually hauled load after load away in our side by side to dump in the woods.
But slowly a patch of clear dirt emerged… then an entire row of green pepper plants were finally cleared. When I leaned down and listened carefully, I thought I heard them singing the Hallelujah Chorus in four-part harmony. Weeding the garden was no fun at all…in fact… I hated every moment of it — but it needed to be done.
I recognize I have probably stunted my harvest potential… but at least I have salvaged some of my hopeful produce.
Jesus once told a parable about a farmer who sowed seed to different levels of success. Some seed fell on the path… some among rocks… Jesus said, “…Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” Matthew 13:7-8 NLT
Later Jesus would explain the meaning of the parable to his disciples. The seed that fell among the thorns represented people who heard the message of the Kingdom of God, but the worries and temptations of the world choked off the message from being applied in their lives. In effect, the weeds kept the gospel from producing and affecting change from within them.
Just like weeds in a garden steal nutrients from garden plants, worldly temptations and sinfulness keep us from experiencing the fullness of God and what the Holy Spirit wants to do in our life. It is so important to keep the soil of our heart fertile and weed-free so that we can produce the type of crop God desires.
And do you know what? Those stinking weeds are trying to come back! The good soil of my garden needs constant attention, just like my heart. I must keep my focus on Jesus and what he desires to produce in my life, while I sacrifice my own desires and guard against the influences of the world around me.
So… I’m a gonna keep a pullin’ those weeds… in my garden… and in my heart.