Those Pesky Weeds

I went past the field of a sluggard, past the vineyard of someone who has no sense; thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins. I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw: A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man. Proverbs 24:30-34

    Spring is here and so are the weeds in my flower beds! They resemble the ground of the sluggard and the one with no sense in Proverbs 24:30-34. The beautiful flowers were hidden and being choked out by the tall weeds. Last weekend, while spending several hours of hard work (on my knees), pulling those stubborn weeds, I thought of how they are like my sins and my flower bed like my messy life. Even though some Christians appear to ‘have it all together’, I know I’m not alone in my messy life. If each of our lives were portrayed as flower beds, most would not be beautiful landscapes like Botanica Gardens.

    A weed is defined as ‘a wild plant growing where it is not wanted and in competition with cultivated plants.’ Similarly, our sin is growing where it is not wanted and is in competition with the Holy Spirit living within us. 

Begin Transforming Your Landscape.

    The making of beautiful landscapes takes planning, a lot of time, and hard work. Even the ground at Botanica was once messy and undesirable, but someone had a vision. They began to make plans, they brought in labor and equipment, and began the process of turning the mess into beautiful landscapes. Like the Botanica Gardens, in order to remove the mess in our lives and make beautiful landscapes out of them we need to have a vision (God’s vision for us), begin following His plans, using tools such as praying and reading the Bible, fellowship and encouraging each other to keep on track.

Recognize Obstacles

    There are many obstacles in transforming our lives into a beautiful landscape, such as, not seeing the need to ‘pull the weeds’, it takes too much effort, they are really small and insignificant, many have become habits, and most of them we’ve become very comfortable with.

Varieties of Weeds

   Like sin, there are many varieties of weeds. Some have shallow roots and are easily removed, some have really strong roots that go really deep, and some have roots that seem to travel forever underground. Some weeds are deadly and have thorns, while others are even very colorful and attractive. No matter what their characteristics are, they need to be gone and they won’t go away on their own. If left alone, they will take over. And worse yet, like the traveling roots or the dandelion seeds that drift with the wind, the weeds even end up in the neighbor’s yard. Oftentimes, we don’t think our sins affect those around us, yet they do. Sins of negativity and complaining are the two most destructive to our neighbors.

Digging Deep

    Digging down deep and getting the roots or spraying weed killer is the key to putting an end to those pesky weeds. If the roots are not dealt with, they will continually come back and usually more aggressive than before. Like the weeds that have runners, a lot of our sins seem to travel and surface where least expected. For example, many people with addictions have had a tragedy in their past. Therefore, the addiction isn’t the root, it’s the tragedy.  We can’t triumph over those ‘weeds’ if we don’t get to the root of them.

Discern Good from Bad

    Like the plants in our landscapes, sometimes it’s difficult to tell if that thing in our life is good or bad. (We’re in denial. We justify that it’s ok. We procrastinate. God hasn’t yet revealed to us that it’s a sin. Or we don’t take the time to listen to God when He’s telling us our sin is not ok) It’s easy to ignore our sins. Many days, I don’t look at my flower bed. Out of sight, out of mind, right? That’s when the ‘weeds’ get out of control. Then it really takes some work to get it back in shape. The sooner we get those ‘weeds’ out, the more manageable our landscape will be.

    When I first gave my life to Christ, I was overwhelmed with all the changes I needed to make in my life. (I still am at times) The ‘weeds’ had taken over my life. How could I ever transform enough to be a beautiful landscape? Like my flower beds, it is an ongoing transformation. It takes time and it takes something stronger than just raking them out. It takes ‘weed killer’ (Jesus), tools (Bible Study), a work crew (Christian family) and getting on our knees (prayer).

Replace with GoØd

“When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it.  Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order.  Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.” Matthew 12:43-45

    After we pull the weeds, making sure to get the roots out, they need to be replaced with good plants. Otherwise, like the impure spirit in Matthew 12:43-45, more ‘weeds’ will come up in their place.

Choke out the ‘weeds’ by planting seeds of faith and water them with prayer and God’s Word.

What are the ‘weeds’ in your landscape?
~Joanie Lawrence-Cain