We have water in our barn at the bottom of our driveway, and water on the house, so I have been running two hoses all over for days and weeks, trying to keep the lawn green and the new plantings growing and taking root. It is amazing how much better the plants do when God does the watering. They have taken off since the sky opened up last weekend!
Today I had to focus on the shop, after returning from an all-day buying trip on Monday. I priced, placed, photographed, and posted on my other blog. The shop was busy today so I decided to take the day off of the yard. I have visited a few blogs, and now here updating my own.
My plan to take the day off of the yard failed when I decided to take a walk around it to check on things. I felt satisfaction seeing my plants growing and green. But of course, the weeds are growing too, so you guessed it, I ended up spending two hours stooped or squatted pulling weeds in the vegetable garden.
As I was pulling, I was thinking about weeds and how God uses them in the Bible to represent evil. Weeds are sown by the enemy. After Adam and Eve sinned, they had to deal with weeds...we have to deal with weeds. Whether evil in our world, or evil (sin) in our own hearts or evil in our gardens. In the following parable the weeds are the unbelievers...
Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
"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?'
" 'An enemy did this,' he replied. "The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?'
" 'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. 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.' " Matthew 13:24-30
As a believer, God is the gardener of my heart...and unlike the above parable with unbelievers, He does pull weeds of sin from our hearts during our journey with Him here on earth.
My strawberries had quite a few weeds in them that I couldn't see from just looking. Once I bent down and started pulling, I discovered many more and it took much longer than I anticipated. I did disturb some of the plants due to the root systems of the weeds going deep. The roots intertwined the plant's roots, stealing from it. Like weeds of sin in our lives steal our refreshment, nourishment, and life. When I pull the weeds, I disturb the plant, the plant wilts a bit, and will die if I don't put the soil back around it, and water it. Thankfully God is a Master Gardner and knows how to weed us carefully.
One of the weeds that the Lord has had to take out of my life slowly and carefully is people-pleasing. Otherwise referred to as "fear of man" in the Bible. It is basically making people (others or self) into an idol. What does this weed look like? For me, I don't want to deal with people (usually in authority)being impatient with me (I fear their words or even their thoughts, and how they make me feel) so I push myself to get things done in order to avoid anger or criticism. Instead of trusting God to work on their impatience, and to be my defender, I tend to run circles around them. They then have become an idol.
Commandment #1. Thou shall have no other gods before me.
People-pleasing is breaking the first commandment. No wonder Satan likes to plant the seeds among us! To bind us, to steal from us, to choke us and keep us from bearing fruit.
Another thing I noticed in my garden tonight is that when I keep the weeds out, the seeds don't reproduce, and there is less and less weeding to do. In my strawberries, I let the weeds get bigger last year, and therefore they reseed themselves and I have more weeds to deal with than in the other areas of my garden that I have tended more faithfully.
There is a lesson in that too. It is true that "One is Near God's heart in a Garden", He spoke to me there tonight. He reminded me that I must remain in His presence to stay weed-free! I cannot let that old weed take root again, I must keep my focus on what God says, and not on people.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2