|In only a few short days, these weeds have overtaken my dianthus flowers so that you can't even see their foliage!|
Since it's been a few weeks since I've set foot in my garden for anything other than watering, I had quite the mess on my hands. The only thing to do was to start on the far end and work my way to the other, one green invader at a time. As I started making progress, I started realizing the parallels between weeds among our flowers and the weeds of sin on our hearts.
What are weeds, really? When I was a kid, I always heard the old-timers refer to weeds as something growing where you didn't want it to. But they're more than that. True weeds choke out beneficial plants, robbing them of the nutrients they need to bear mature fruit. Weeds grow much more aggressively, entangling themselves around other plants until it becomes difficult or impossible to separate the two. Weeds aren't picky; they'll grow rampantly in the poorest or richest of soils, and make do with whatever water and nutrients they can steal from their surroundings. In our hearts, weeds are not so obvious and easy to identify. They spring up from burying ourselves in the cares of this world, getting trapped up in the allure of material things, or placing the pleasures of the world above God's will for our lives.
As we read in Matthew 13:25-28, the seeds of the worldly weeds in our hearts are sown by the enemy. As these seeds germinate and grow, they distract us from our relationship with God and take up the space in our hearts for godly thoughts. If allowed to take root, they can slow our spiritual growth, sometimes even stop it altogether, and prevent us from producing mature spiritual fruit.
|The top photo is a weed. The bottom is one of my favorite plants, purslane. Aside from the flowers, they're nearly identical!|
The good news is that God has lovingly provided us with His own special blend of weed killer. In Philippians 4:8, His word tells us, "finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." When you nourish those thoughts, they will grow and flourish.
|A pretty little periwinkle trying to make its home in the rocks of my patio. If I leave it there, it will grow for awhile, but it will soon need more space and the heat will be too intense, and it will die.|
|This sweet little celosia apparently overwintered in my flower bed! I haven't planted any celosia this year, and this plant is an annual, so it shouldn't have survived. I love it when I find these little gems every year!|
In Proverbs 3:3, we're reminded to "let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart." When you spend time in God's word every day, impressing His truths upon your heart, those seeds of love and hope will settle themselves in the soil of your heart. During the trials of life, you'll be amazed to find that those seeds have germinated into full-grown vines of hope and truth. What you may have forgotten you'd tucked away will now sustain you. All of God's seeds grow into perennials! They just keep coming back, time after time, to remind you of His love and faithfulness!
"a good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart."
Friends, our God in Heaven loves us so much. So much that He sent His only begotten Son to take our place on the cross. To pay the wages of our sin. To tear the veil that separates us from Himself. All He wants from us is that we seek a relationship with Him. And as we seek Him and grow in Him, He will sanctify us, bringing us closer and closer to His side, and refining us until we are more and more like Jesus. And one day, we will walk together with Him in His perfect garden.