Weeds of Epic Proportions
Recently, the city where I live experienced pouring rain for nearly two weeks. We desperately needed the rain, having lived with water restrictions for quite a number of years now. The dam which captures the city's water supply was perilously close to empty - at around 1%. So the beautiful soaking rain was such a blessing!
After the rain had stopped, I surveyed my garden. The grass was nearly waist high. The leaves on the trees looked lush and thriving. The flowers were flourishing. But in and around them, the weeds were of epic proportions. Now, a weed can be defined as an undesirable or invasive plant growing where it is not wanted. These weeds were out of control, threatening to take over the flowers that were growing so beautifully. So, for the health of these flowers and the other "wanted" plants, I knew it was a priority to weed my garden.
Now, many people I know do not enjoy weeding - at all. But I am not one of them. Pulling weeds is something I really enjoy doing. I find it therapeutic and very satisfying. How so?
Weeding as Therapy
I find that being in my garden, amongst my flowers and the soil they grow in, is so relaxing, calming and rejuvenating. When weeding, I begin to focus on pulling the first weed. Each weed, systematically and methodically, is pulled. I pay attention to pulling each weed and, slowly but surely, I fall into a rhythm. This clear focus and rhythm relaxes me. Pretty soon, I am so relaxed that I don't really have to think about what I am doing. I just have to make sure I grasp the weed firmly at the base and pull. And, I have to make sure that I am pulling a weed and not a healthy plant. So, not having to think about the weeding, as I weed, means I can then think about other things (I do so enjoy a good multi-task!).
When the Time is Ripe
This time, when I was weeding, I was reflecting on how weeding - when the time is ripe - is much easier to do. Similarly, clearing the undesirable and unwanted parts of our lives can be done in a way that is easier and less painful - by doing it when the time is ripe. I was reflecting on how there is a specific time when it is most productive to weed - and that is, after the rain has softened the soil enough so that the weeds come out easily. When the ground is dry and unyielding, it takes a lot of extra muscle to pull the weeds. The weed will not give itself up easily in such an environment. In dry soil, because it is such hard going, it is very easy to get discouraged and stop weeding. The time is not yet ripe.
The Weeds of Distraction
As I take Jesus' hand and walk with Him, I am coming to realise more and more that He has His perfect timing for everything. When His time is ripe - the soil is wet and the weeds yield easily to our efforts - He will have us weed. We are ready to look at the weeds such as the weeds of distraction. The weeds of distraction are those things in our lives which are choking our progress or which threaten to swamp the healthier parts of ourselves from growing. These weeds of distraction can be anything from unhealthy habits or sinful choices we are making - to being around people or situations who might be toxic to us. These are the weeds which distract us from the plan God has for our lives.
When the soil is wet and there is potential for the weeds to yield easily, it is when we are ready to speak honestly with the Lord. We come to Him in obedience, ready for Him to guide us in the ways in which he seeks to clear and transform. He could be showing us an area which needs healing. An area where we need to repent or forgive. An area where we are simply making poor choices.
The weeds can also be like the thoughts which come into the garden of our minds which are not of God. These thoughts start off small - just like the thought of doubt the serpent planted in Eve's mind when he asked her "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?" (Genesis 3:1). This small thought of doubt then led to Eve eating fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, which in turn led to the breaking of the perfect relationship between God and man. One little thought from the enemy, just like an unchecked weed left to grow, has the potential to multiply into something that has the potential for dire consequences. A thought life choked with lies from the enemy will soon show up in our lives being cluttered with toxicity.
These thoughts from the enemy, like some weeds, may at first appear to look attractive, even pretty - but we have to remember that this beauty is only skin deep. The purpose of a weed is to grow where it is not wanted, to choke, paralyse and take over, engulfing everything in its path. And this is also true of thoughts which are from the enemy. Remember, the enemy has come as a thief, only to steal and kill and destroy; but Jesus has come so that we may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10).
The Solution is Clear
The solution is clear - the solution is to clear! Clear out those thought weeds as they occur. At the roots. Seek out where the thought weeds are in your life and clear them. Use God's promises as an antidote and replacement to the poison of these thought weeds. As always, let the Lord Jesus come in and give you the best possible way to do this - in relationship with Him and those people He puts in your path, through prayer, Scripture and communion with His Holy Spirit. Let your garden flourish with health and vitality, knowing that a close walk with the Lord means you will be paying attention to what He is wanting to tell you. You will be paying attention to when He is wanting to tell you. You will know, in His strength, through His promises throughout Scripture and His transforming love, exactly when the time is ripe - to weed.
What Are Some of Your Weeds of Distraction?
I've given just a few examples but there are countless others - both big and small. I would love to hear from you about the weeds of distraction you might have experienced in your life and how the Lord helped you deal with them.
God bless you!
The Parable of the Weeds (NIV) Matthew 13:24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. 27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ 28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ 29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”
The Parable of the Weeds Explained Matthew 13:36 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” 37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. 40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear".