My gravel driveway has become overrun with weeds. They vary in size and species. Some of them look like really tall grass and other types have pretty flowers on them. Nonetheless, they have to go!
These suckers are hard to deal with too. The chemicals that you buy from the store that swear you can see results in as little as a day, seem to only feed them and make them grow faster. These companies have found a way to create steroids for plant life. Thus creating an endless cycle. Weeds grow, spray weed, weeds grow, buy more spray.
I finally got sick and tired of being sick and tired and decided to do something. It was really hot outside but, it didn’t matter. I figured I could use this time as ….”exercise”? (This would count, right?) I didn’t want to spray and I am no pro when it comes to using any sort of motorized yard tool so, I decided to do some manual labor and pull those bad boys by hand. I know that seems like doing a bit too much, but it gave me a sense of accomplishment in seeing the actual removal of these parasites. I am actually doing something about this problem.
I pulled bunch after bunch and in some instances, I would be able to yank out a whole hand full and a clod of dirt with roots and all! Yes! That felt really good! As I pulled and yanked and strained, it got me thinking, “What about the weeds in our lives?” I had to ask God, “Lord, are there weeds in my life that I’ve let sit too long that need to be removed?”
Webster’s definition for weed is “a plant that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth; especially: one that tends to overgrow or choke out more desirable plants.”
Let’s look at that in a Spiritual context; replace the word ‘plant’ with another noun. Let’s use ‘characteristic.’ Now our definition is: “a characteristic that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth; especially: one that tends to overgrow or choke out more desirable characteristics.” In light of this definition, that characteristic would differ for each of us but it is one that we know is limiting the growth of more positive characteristics that will reflect in us the image of Christ.
One more word: ‘person/people’. Our new definition is: ” a person that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth; especially: one that tends to overgrow or choke our more desirable people.” That sounds extreme, I know. But, think about it. Have you had someone in your life that was always around and ever-present but they are of no real benefit to your life? They also block the growth and development of relationships with amazing people from whom you can learn and grow. Even if you don’t have anyone like that in your life, you probably know someone who does.
In my driveway, I had to first acknowledge there was a weed problem. I can’t make a change to my situation if I don’t acknowledge that there is a situation. Next,I considered my options and created a strategy. I used my hands to get to my weeds but I knew that I would need reinforcements so, I sprayed after I pulled and I still know that a weed whacker will most likely be necessary.
So it goes Spiritually: identify that there are ‘weeds.’ Whether an internal weed or external, you can’t address it if you don’t acknowledge it! Then consider your options. If it’s personal, you can work on your attitude or read books on how you can change. If it’s a person, you can kick them to the curb and get some new friends. Honestly, that’s easier said than done because we often forget about the magnitude of the effect Spiritual weeds have on our lives. Which is why the situation has gotten to the overwhelming point that it has. We don’t “see” the Spiritual weeds so, we don’t keep them in check. But, THEY’RE REAL!! Ephesians 6: 12 : “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” The weeds are real y’all! They’re Spiritual but they’re real and we have allowed them to choke us out for too long! You can’t grow if you have weeds eating your soil and taking your nutrients. Even if you do grow, it’s not as strong as you could be. The growth will be short-lived because your root system is being infiltrated by invaders.
You can’t produce good fruit in this state. As children of God, we are called to bear fruit. That is how we glorify Him! People see the fruit of our lives and then when they say, “Wow! What is it about you?!” You say, “Jesus!”
I know it’s human nature to want to tackle a task on our own but, there is no need for that because …we’re gonna mess it up. Let’s be honest. But, I know the Perfect Gardener that can address the weed problem in our lives. “I am the true vine, and my Father is the Gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” John 15:1-2 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
We don’t have to do this on our own. We have the Father and the Son to see to it that we bear fruit. As the Gardener, God will remove things within us and the people around us that need to go! No compromising. Because as His child, He knows what He’s placed on the inside of you and where He wants to take you. If something is hindering that, it has GOT TO GO! Even as you wholeheartedly seek Him and serve Him, there is still work to do and He will address those areas; this is the pruning. None of us are perfect. We ALL fall short. Yet, He loves us so that He provided Jesus as a sacrifice to cover our sin and remove the veil that separated us. That is why Jesus says we are to remain in Him. Jesus is our way to the Father. You cannot have one without the other.
As you evaluate your life and identify the weeds, know that you have access through Jesus to the Gardener whose will it is that you bear fruit. He wants that for us! He can remove things better than any spray, weed whacker or you can on your own. Try as you might to handle this on your own, you’re going to need reinforcements because weeds are persistent so, if not handled correctly, they can and will return. Break the cycle and connect with Jesus and let the Father in to handle the problem that cannot and should not be handled on your own.
Don’t let the weeds take over!