Lessons from Weeding

Flower Garden in process

I was in someone else’s garden this weekend.  I carefully inspected each plant attempting to avoid plucking a beauty over a weed. 

I know the owner of the garden is a bit of a perfectionist.  I know because I recognize the symptoms in myself: we sometimes do not begin a project for fear that there will be mistakes or less than perfect results.  For some strange reason this feels too heavy and holds us down emotionally and physically.  Why?  What will really happen if we pull a few flowers out with the weeds?  Most likely no one else will ever know, but somehow the thought of it is so crippling we do not even start.

I must say there were so many weeds choking out the flowers that if it had gone another week or two, they would have taken over the flowerbed.

So if I stopped weeding for fear of taking out some of the flowers, the flowers would all die eventually and in the meantime not be pleasing to passersby because the weeds overtook their beauty.

By moving forward in faith: taking action to remove the invasive evil, the good prevails.

As I weeded, I reflected on how I found some of my CDs in the trash that morning.  My husband was cleaning out our game room the night before and had decided the CDs were not being used and were a burden rather than a benefit to our family by taking up space and not being enjoyed.  At that moment, it did not feel good to me; I was appalled he would make that decision without asking if I listened to the music (I still WOULD prefer this approach).  But as I thought about his actions, while weeding, I realized my husband’s overall intentions are for my good and not my harm.  He truly wants to help me declutter and to be freed from the burden that unused material things have on a person/home/family.  He saw the CDs as weeds, knowing that they have the potential to ‘choke’ out the joy and the peace in a home, just like a weed in a garden kills the beauty and enjoyment of the flower.

Christians are all a bit like a flower garden on the inside:  Until Christ returns there will always be weeds (sin) trying to take over the beautiful (holy) part of our personality and actions. Galatians 5 outlines this battle and gives words of action to live in the Power of the Holy Spirit, not giving way to the sinful side.

I have a new appreciation for my husband’s decluttering intentions.  I don’t always like his methods; the same way I do not always like the way it feels when God cleans me up in the midst of the ‘refining fire’.  However, I do trust God’s promises that His plans for me are good (Jeremiah 29:11) and I believe that He is Holy (Isaiah 6:3) and that He will work all things out for my good (Romans 8:28) .  Therefore, I am willing to patiently endure the weeding process because there is BEAUTY on the other side!

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes* so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. John 15:1-8 NIV

*the Greek for he prunes also means he cleans (how appropriate :-))

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