“The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.” Matthew 13:22 (NIV)
This summer my family and I enjoyed a month where we were on vacation, coming home from vacation or I left again and my husband was a single parent for a week. Either way, some things in our usual summer chore list were neglected because other issues took priority: mowing the lawn, grocery shopping, cleaning the house, washing the clothes, cooking dinner, etc.
As a result, it was over a month that our garden relied on God to water it…and He did quite nicely. However, besides continuing to grow our plants, when we finally had a chance to step out there, we noticed there was an overgrowth of weeds. My husband’s first thought was that the garden was a total loss for the year, yet he put on long pants, shirt, and mosquito netting and ventured out there to see if anything could be salvaged. After working a good three hours on a Friday night by himself, I trudged out there with him the next day and helped finish up.
We were pleasantly surprised at what we discovered. Yes, the weeds had tried to overtake our plants. Yes, there was a lot of hard work and sweat that needed to be put into removing them from the garden that was slowly being choked, and unfortunately, there were a few causalities – plants that were smaller, weaker and couldn’t survive the attack. However, the garden as a whole has been reborn. The plants that remained are strong, have flowers signaling the growth of vegetables, and have proven that with our continued diligence to keep the weeds away, they will produce a plentiful harvest.
This analogy reminds me of our Christian walk. Sometimes we neglect certain areas in our life and “take a vacation.” However, one day we realize we need to surrender those areas that have been overrun by weeds back to God and ask Him to help us restore order. There might be a few causalities – relationships that are permanently damaged, negative behavior we have passed on to our children or friends, or other areas that will suffer major damage. However, when we allow God to take control by identifying the problem areas we need to work on, ask for His strength to get rid of the bad habits and keep them gone, the parts that are left are healthy, strong, and able to bear much produce.
We’re never too far gone, my friend, to be weeded and produce a good crop. We just have to ask God to help identify the weeds in our life and once identified eradicate those areas with His strength. When we ask, He’s more than happy to step in, because unlike me who hates to weed, God loves to remove the weeds from our lives (and He does a much better job!)
© Cheri Swalwell 2015