13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
Matthew 13: 1-9
So many weeds.
Into the earth I plunged the fork-ed tool grateful that the dirt is not rock-hard. We had a small shower yesterday which must have softened and loosened it a bit. Pulling weeds is and interesting task. If you have done it much in your lifetime you come to recognize the names of your weeds. There may be nutgrass, spurge and dollarweed to name a few regulars. There might be morning glory and dandelion or even the newest scourges Virginia buttonweed and basketgrass. None of these are friendlies. In my estimation they simply have no useful place in the beautiful flora of God’s nature, yet here they are. My chosen task for this day is to eradicate them. One always hopes this eradication is a once and for all mission with no need to repeat.
Again I plunge into the dirt order to liberate another undesirable. I press the opening between the fork at the base of the weed and twist. The roots are wrapped around the forks with the circular motion of the twist and withdrawn from the surrounding soil. In a moment the weed is lifted with most of the dirt which once anchored and nourished it left behind. Success! And on I move to the next cluster. Over and over I perform these actions of plunge, twist, pull. Delighted to see the fruit of my effort I continue on until either I win and finish the flowerbed or the heat of this August day stops me too soon. Today, I win and am happy to cast a glance out the back windows an my handiwork of today.
It could be that this sounds like an accomplishment and it is, but there is much to consider here. Things of life find a way to teach lessons if only one listens, hears, sees, senses, feels the messages which are cast by God into the places which speak to us, on our level, in ways we can understand. Today, weeding tells the story.
You see my friend, like the seed which is planted in rich soil, given proper care and bearing well for its owner so the seed which is planted in weedy or rocky soil and is little or unattended bears little more than arduous toil and heartache.
My flowerbed is no exception.
Why do you suppose I know the weeds by name? Why do you think that I have this great little forked tool? Why do I know the nuances of it effective handling? Why am I aware of the difficulties of removing weeds from certain soil? The answer? Because my beds have been unattended often and for far too long.
Does this sound familiar? How are yours? Weedy and rocky or well cared for and nourished.
Dear one, the application to my life has not gone unnoticed. Yes, the flowerbed of my heart is in trouble – maybe not today or tomorrow but probably the next because I simply cannot escape this life’s realities. I put the wrong things on the wrong list of priorities and the balance no long balances. However do I press the reset button? First, I must want to. Be ready, it is not and easy task but take heart, we have a routing tool, and we have a perfect gardener!
Beloved, which weeds trouble you? Is there a weed of unforgiveness afoot? Are you cultivating a temptation which is way beyond your handling or even imagination? Does the root of bitterness or anger or envy or malice or, or, or …seek to steal your joy, your peace, your kind spirit or patience or any good and righteous fruit known to the Holy Spirit of God? Of course they do if they are planted, nourished, cared for, watered. These weeds grow just as strongly as those which would be offering you good food to eat were they the cultivars. But perhaps you did not plant these since who in the world plants weeds? But I am here to tell you that they creep in and if unnoticed are cultivated as if they were the sensible choice for a proper garden.
Oh, let us walk together to a new place. Hold my hand that we may make a new garden planted by streams of living water, pruned by the trained hand of the vinedresser, nourished by him who feeds the five thousand with two loaves and five fishes. Let us eat from it at its peak and to our fullest delight. Oh let us come to the Lord of Lords with thanksgiving and nevermore plant a weed but instead relinquish our rights to those weeds and toss them into the fire whence they had come. When we do, Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Let us come before the Lord our Maker for He has plunged His righteous right hand into the abyss of our hearts and twisted and turned until the unwanted is removed and the righteous is restored. His precious Word will check and restore with the continuous balance only it can provide. And His name, God, I AM will be praised and Jesus, His Son will be glorified in your life and mine forevermore. May it be so!
I love you dearly,
95 Oh come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
3 For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
5 The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.
6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
7 For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand.