I was sitting in church listening to my pastor talk on the parables of Jesus. As he was speaking he started giving an analogy about weeds in your garden and how they need no care or water they just show up and stay.
I began to see this. I’m a visual learner, always have been always will. Drives my husband nuts. But it’s who I am and I need it drawn out, laid out, colored out; however you chose to show me what it is you want me to see, it needs to be visual.
My oldest daughter is twenty-two and in the last six months or so has really been testing her relationship with Christ. She’s not testing Him, she’s testing herself. And she’s learning she wants to have a richer, deeper more true relationship with Him.
It’s a beautiful thing right?!? Sure it is, until she asks you a simple question which you know in your past forty-four years of life of being a Christian sometimes takes a lot more than a simple answer, it takes a picture.
So picture a yard, nothing fancy just a simple yard with grass. You choose the back corner for your garden. It’s the best corner, it gets early sun in the morning, and just the right time frame of the afternoon sun before the shade gives it relief from the large tree in the neighboring yard. Yup, perfect corner.
You prepare the dirt properly all during the next few days. But then you get a phone call and you are forced to leave town for a family emergency for the next week. Then work sets in on you because now you are behind from being out of town and the usual long day just turned into an even longer one. Finally, three weeks pass and you have a weekend for just you and your garden.
There’s weeds. Really? You haven’t even so much as planted a flower or a vegetable and there’s already weeds! It hasn’t even rained, yet there’s weeds! You didn’t even finished the soil, yet there’s weeds! How and why is this possible.
You pull the weeds and you plant until sundown each night. You water and fertilize for weeks and you start to see beautiful growth, sprouts where there should be sprouts, buds where there should be buds. No weeds. You smile.
Another work week sets in but you have time to enjoy your garden in the evening. Things look well. You prune where needed on the rose bushes, you dead head the fallen flowers, and you continue to reinforce the stakes in your tomato plants. All while doing so you find weeds. You didn’t plant weeds, you didn’t fertilize for weeds, you certainly didn’t water for weeds but they still show up. You pull the weeds again and move on.
Another busy work week and a three day out-of-town trip for business and your back home. A week of no rain, long hours and now out of town, your garden is looking dry and unattended to.
Flowers are limp, leaves are brown, sprouts are not multiplying and the stalks have withered and are now hanging over.
But, there is one thing see that is just thriving. You got it, weeds.
Your flowers and your vegetables are the work you put into your Christian life. Watering, feeding, supporting, maintaining and simply enjoying and loving them. The weeds are Satan, they come because they can and they don’t need an invitation, they don’t need water, fertilizer, pruning, you certainly didn’t give them love! You pulled them out every time and cursed as you did it. They were interfering in your beautiful garden!
But that’s the lesson, having Christ in your life is easy, but He requires your love and time to grow in your heart. Having Satan in your life is even easier, it’s the labor and work getting rid of him that is tiring, even exhausting at times.
So in the end you have flowers to smell, vegetables to eat, you’ve even provided food from their leaves and stalks for a few animal and insect friends. Or, you have weeds that prick, at times draw blood, some that even trap insects and make animals ill, some that cause a dangerous allergy to you or others around you you love.
My question to you is, What will you put your work into, the garden or the weed patch?
I chose the garden. I hope you do as well.