Last summer, my grandkids and I decided to plant a small garden in my backyard. They all eagerly helped turn over the soil, plant the seeds, and harvest the results. But for 4-year-old Joshua, the favorite activity by far was pulling weeds. Now generally, this is my least favorite part of the process (probably because it reminds me of my age!) But Josh jumped in with a passion! Every single day he would run out to the garden to check for even the smallest invasion. He would point to a plant, ask if it was a weed, and then yank it out and fling it across the yard yelling, “Go away weed!!!” I have never enjoyed gardening so much in my life!
This summer I was weeding by myself. Because of my procrastination at my least favorite part of yard work, I had a mess to deal with. Weeds close to a foot tall were choking out my flowers and some needed to be dug out with a shovel in order to get rid of all the roots. My back was aching, my knees were screaming, and I was really missing my little cheerleader! How different was my attitude this year and how much harder the work was because of my procrastination.
As Christians, like it or not we have weeds constantly springing up all around us. Weeds of sin have the potential to invade our thoughts, our actions, our choices, and our words. While we may not have a choice as to whether weeds show up in our lives, we most definitely have a choice in how to handle them.
- We can encourage them. Have you ever noticed how some weeds really look pretty good? Some blend in quite well with the surrounding garden and without instruction from a more knowledgeable source we can find ourselves fooled by their beauty and actually tending them. We admire them until eventually they take over and we can hardly see the original flowers.
- We can ignore them. After all they’re pretty small. Until they’re not. Suddenly we find ourselves in the middle of an invasion that is threatening to choke out the fruit that God has been carefully cultivating in us, leaving us overwhelmed with discouragement and pain.
- We can passionately attack! Like Josh, every day we can run to the Master Gardener to help us recognize the weeds. We can seek out even the smallest ones that have taken root and joyfully fling them firmly away.
How will you deal with the weeds in your life? Will you encourage or ignore them? Or will you visit your garden every day, allowing God to reveal them before the roots grow deep? May we all choose to rid our lives of sin with the passion of a child and a joyful heart for nourishing God’s garden in us!