Pulling Weeds

My nephew once pondered why it is that weeds keep materializing without any effort but when trying to grow flowers, it’s always hard work. He is absolutely right. Why is that? Whenever I try to grow anything, I have to juggle with sun, shade, soil, water, fertilizer, temperature, bugs, etc. to just keep my plants from withering. But without invitation, weeds just pop up out of nowhere and no matter how much I keep pulling and cutting them down, they just keep coming back!

After several years of drought in my area, the monsoon rains finally returned this year with a vengeance. Weeds sprouted up all over and I had to race to pull them out before their roots cemented themselves into the ground. Of course, weeds don't like to be removed and they got back at me with stickers, allergies, a runny nose, sneezing, itching, mosquitos and no-see-ums.

And it is true that throughout the year I tried to grow a few flowers, vegetables and herbs, but they all languished for one reason or another. It was too hot, it was too dry, the sun was too strong, there was not enough water…it was always something.

But the weeds kept popping up no matter the conditions.

In Genesis, because of our fall from grace, God banished us from the Garden and warned us that life outside of Him would not be easy:

…‘cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” - Genesis 3:17b-19

Not only was God referring to struggle we will have in this earthly life, but also to our spiritual life. Our relationship with God and spiritual redemption is hard work. We toil and struggle to bear good fruit to sustain ourselves spiritually while dealing with the thorns and thistle of sin, temptation, troubles and tribulation. Our journey to return to God is a long difficult road. The fruits of our disobedience can be uncertainty, fear, discontent and isolation.

It is not easy to find the Lord's peace, love and joy when our lives are filled with spiritual struggles like tangled vines, grasses, thorns, bugs and stickers. Such is the evil that permeates our daily lives.

Personally, I have to continously yank out the weeds of impatience that I might have when things don't go my way. Or the weeds of not getting too involved when situations appear time and energy consuming. Or the weeds of judgment that I can place on those whom I disagree with. My heart is filled with so many weeds that I need to pull out. It is not easy cleaning up my garden, but it is something I have to do continously if I want to flourish with the Lord's love, understanding, compassion and action.

The difference between the curse in Eden and now is Jesus Christ. God gave us His Son who took the curse of sin onto Himself and freed us so we could be redeemed. But we still have to do the hard work of God and follow in Jesus' footsteps.

As children of God we must put on our work gloves, get out the tools, (prayer, reflection, meditation and the Word), and clear out the gardens of our hearts. We have to take out the weeds of selfcenteredness, lust for the world, negativity, unforgivesness, resentment, temptation, apathy and inaction by their roots and clear out the dead leaves, branches, thorns and stickers of sin that we have let pile up.

When we can clear the debris and till the soil, the Holy Spirit will sow His seeds of goodness and love, so the True Gardener, Jesus can water and nourish us to renew our hearts so we can grow into the fruit bearing vines, bushes and trees we were meant to be.



©2021 Edrick

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