The other morning I was allowing negativity, hurt and painful words that had been spoken to me swirl around in my mind. I was noticing the thoughts fester turning to bitterness and anger. I was quickly headed down a poor path, and tried to hand over the thoughts to Jesus taking them captive.
Leave it to God to start teaching me a lesson as I was working on the mundane chore of pulling weeds. Choosing to work on my backyard was intimidating. It is full of weeds and piles of painful tumbleweeds. If you live in the desert you know those thorns are not messing around! I started to piece together the different thoughts I had earlier that morning in the form of spiritual weeds. All those thoughts were given space in my mind to take root, and to grow down deep. It had been a while since I went in to pull out those spiritual weeds. The problem with weeds is they can choke out healthy growth and can be painful.
It hit me that God was the ultimate Gardener. I went to Genesis 2: 8-9 “The Lord God planted a garden… and out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food…” The garden God planted was beautiful and colorful. I can imagine the peaceful mist and tranquil feeling of being surrounded by the quietness of the trees. In thinking of the beauty I realized that is how God views me. Even with my weeds and flaws He looks at me as a breathtaking garden.
So often in my own stubbornness I attempt to pull the weeds out in my own strength. As I discovered the other day some weeds are hard to uproot. They are deep, spread out and even with two hands and a good grip they can be a battle to pull out. So often I try to spiritually uproot in my own strength, but it’s just not possible. I need to ask God for His help and gardening expertise.
As I uproot I can focus on the good I can produce. It brought to mind the fruits of the spirit. Galatians 5:22 “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” I want the fragrance of sweet oranges of gentleness, and the colorfulness of the red apple of love to thrive in my garden. I want to be a garden that gives and encourages others.
Life will have more seasons that come. Different winds that blow new and old weeds back into the garden. It is a constant battle to go out and be diligent in keeping my mind clear of the unwanted and ugly weeds, but worth the effort in the end.
I wanted to challenge you to think of the spiritual weeds in your life, encourage you to go out with Jesus to clear up your garden, and remind you give yourself grace!