Spring brings about my least favorite of all chores: weeding. My backyard is one that, to put it nicely, has a lot of potential. In the meantime, there is a dirt hill that runs the whole length of my yard and is a constant source of annoyance. Trust me, in the future it will be covered in flowering and fruit-bearing bushes and a lovely vegetable garden. But for now, it requires constant weeding just to keep the weeds from taking over the whole yard. The thing I always find so remarkable about weeding is how deep the roots can be! I could pull weeds all day if they came straight out of the ground, but many of them do not. Many of them have roots that burrow deep into the earth or spread out in a ridiculous radius under the ground.
The last time I was weeding, I pulled a simple blade of grass that was maybe six inches long, but the roots stretched out horizontally under the ground for at least 18 inches. It’s no wonder that Jesus told so many parables that had to do with farming and nature. God’s creation is so rich with examples of the way he works and spiritual principles. This weed in particular showed me how the root of something can be so much deeper than the actual plant on the surface. In Christianity, we often use weeding—and roots in particular—as a metaphor for getting aspects of our sinful nature out of our lives so we can be more Christ-like. But I always want to think about those weeds as the ones that are easy to pull and come right out of the ground. I don’t want to have to work on pulling out a root that is 18 inches long out of my life.
The encouraging thing is that it’s okay to realize that some weeds have deep roots. For example, if you have been battling with fear and you can’t understand why your walk with Jesus isn’t making it go away, it could be something that you and Jesus are going to work on for a little while until you are healed and can walk in the fullness of peace the Bible talks about in Philippians 4:6-7.
It’s important to recognize the weeds in our lives because God wants us to be free from them. But it’s also important to realize that not all matters of faith are dealt with in an instant, and it is okay to give yourself grace to work through them. The next time you’re working in your yard, thank God that he lovingly weeds the sin and pain from our lives so we can grow to our full potential.
by Lauren Bratten
“Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.” —Ephesians 4:21-23
Lord, work with me on the weeds in my life. Pull them out gently and help me trust you as the Master Gardner. Amen.
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