“Thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds … I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a
lesson from what I saw”
— Proverbs 24:31-32 (NIV)
When I first started my flower garden I imagined an English garden, a vision of beauty. Of course it had to be a carefree garden free of weeds,grass, and other debris.
The garden would be full of my favorite flowers and never need watering because the rain would provide all the moisture it needed. What a fairy tale! The reality of my garden was it took a great deal of time to prepare the soil, adding nutrients and removing all of the rocks and weeds. It actually took longer to prepare the soil than planting the flowers.
It wasn’t long before I could relate to Jesus telling about the parable of the weeds in Matthew 13. While I was gone for a few days, someone came in and planted weeds among my beautiful flowers. Actually I am sure the weed seeds were there all along, dormant until the first rain came along. In those early years I was able to keep up with the weeds although it took a great deal of time pulling them while at the same time trying to protect the delicate stems of the flowers.
Several years passed since that dream of the perfect English garden and every year my garden requires lots of work. This year I was unable to get out in the spring and pull the weeds when they first emerged. Before I knew it, the weeds had almost taken over the garden. I was ashamed of myself for letting it get in such bad shape. It was time to ask for help.
I hired someone who went right to work. Although it took them several hours to complete the task, they kept with it and soon the garden was once again free of weeds. They had the strength and endurance I was lacking to get the job done. While I was overwhelmed and didn’t know where to begin,they chose a small corner and started there.
Admiring the finished job I realized the correlation with the garden and my life. I want to be the type of Christian who lives the spirit-filled life, but that isn’t always the case.
Unfortunately bad habits and attitudes creep into my life like weeds in my garden until I am so overwhelmed I want to give up. When that happens, I turn to the master gardener of my life (the Lord) to help remove the noxious things that overshadow the good things the Lord does through me.
Instead of weeds of sin and discord I long to live a life filled with the fruits of the spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23 that include love, joy, peace, longsuffering,gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. The best thing I can do is allow the Lord to pull out the weeds in my life so good fruit can take its place.
Debra Whittington is a longtime resident of Tucumcari. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org