I’ve been making an intentional effort to weed my garden and water the plants this year. Of course, I don’t *always* have a good attitude about it. After all, I haven’t received any rewards in the way of produce yet.
Last week, as I bent over to pull yet another crab grass seedling from next to one of my baby bean plants, I watched yet another drop of sweat fall from my forehead to the ground. I grumbled a complaint. This is hard work! I thought.
I heard a whisper. “Yes,it is. It’s the same with your life.”
“How is this like my life?” I asked Him back.
“Notice that weed that grew up right next to the plant. You took special care not to pull up the good plant along with the weed, didn’t you?”
“You sometimes have to pull weeds in your life that are very close to the good plant, but you must do it with care. That weed was stealing nourishment from the good plant. “
I nodded again.
“And doesn’t it feel like you keep pulling up the same weeds over and over?”
I nodded again, this time in frustration.
“Why do you think that is?”
I looked at the weeds and observed them for a minute. “Some weeds go deep and if the root isn’t removed, it will sprout again. Some weeds have been uprooted, but left in the garden and have rerooted in the soil.”
“Yes! You must remember to remove the weeds completely from the garden. That means sometimes thought patterns or toxic people or behaviors must be uprooted so the good plant can flourish.”
“What is the good plant in my life?” I asked Him. He took me to the Bible.
“No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.” 1 John 3:9 NIV http://bible.com/111/1jn.3.9.niv
“God, so that implies to me that if someone was truly born of God, then the righteousness of Jesus sprouts up and flourishes in that person's life to change them. Jesus' seed chokes out everything else, eventually. And that person will eventually stop sinning.”
“That’s part of it, but it takes your cooperation. You have to do the hard work of weeding your garden, to allow room for Him to grow. Sometimes you have to remove rocks, or add nourishment to the soil to make it productive.”
“So what happens if I don’t?” I asked.
He took me to the Bible again.
“Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”” Mark 4:3-8 NIV http://bible.com/111/mrk.4.3-8.niv
“Ahh!! So we can change the condition of our soil to make sure the Good Seed flourishes?”
“Yes you can!! Weed your garden. Remove the rocks. Add nutrients to your soil. Let the Spirit water your life! And notice the goal.”
I though I knew the answer, but I asked anyway. “What is the goal - the ultimate purpose?”
“It is to multiply the gift Jesus gave you: 30 times, 60 times or a 100 times. The production of a harvest - more seeds - is the goal. And if your soul is growing Jesus, then He will be spread to those around you. Cultivate your garden, and you will produce good things.”