Last week I was foolishly complaining about Christians who don’t give of their time or energies, who just fill a pew…(as if I’m not one of them) A good friend of mine stopped my rant, and told me that before you can have the hands and feet of Christ, you have to have His heart…
Sunday evening I looked out at my patch of ground that used to be my garden, back when I wasn’t so busy. It was overgrown with chest-high weeds. I realized then why God gave us gardens, maybe even why we were created in one. Not just to see what comes of our labors, and not just to see the good fruit that we can grow. Honestly, I think it’s to show us what happens when we stand still and do nothing. When we don’t nurture God’s work, his seed, we dry up. And in that dry, cracked earth we think that neutrality is somehow a balanced field, when in reality, it’s only made us prime targets. The weeds come with a vengeance, don’t they?! They grow up right under our noses, and we realize too late that it’s not just a field for a garden, it’s a field for our souls. It’s our own personal Megiddo, our battlefield. And while we’ve lost the ground through our distractions, Satan has greatly benefited from our inactions, whether we acknowledged him or not.
With all my bravado I began to weed that garden Sunday evening, in my mind seeing that little patch of ground in my back yard as my personal spiritual battle. I was determined to win, to show Satan that this ground is not for the taking. Not this ground! You know the hardest part, the best part of the lesson, was when my hands grew so tired from twisting and pulling out the weeds that they were numb, and I couldn’t make a fist anymore. The sun was setting, and there I was on my knees. For all I’d tried, I still didn’t get them all. Some were just in the ground too deep. Others were just plain pesky, spread out but connected, with hundreds of little roots, too many to get my hands around. Together they formed this kind of carpet on the soil, a perfect defense. That way they can get cover as much surface area as possible, with no real depth or notoriety, and yet they’d conquered the entire garden. What did they know that I didn’t? In all my efforts, by the time the crickets were signing, I was finished. Done. At my end. It was a job bigger than me.
Hello Jesus Christ! Enter my Savior, and the reason He paid the price. Because He knew that I couldn’t. Because this fight is daily.
It’s a war I’m not going to win in just one battle. There will be many victories, but still defeats. And I’ll never come to the end. See, we all get tired, we all get busy, we all get exhausted, and eventually, we’ll stand still again, we’ll sit down again. We’ll lose that heart. And that’s when we most need the encouragement of our brothers and sisters. That’s the whole reason God’s put us together, all the way back to Eve. One worker in the field just isn’t going to cut it for making the harvest. We just aren’t any good at going it alone. And we’ll never finish the job. It will never be perfect because tomorrow will still come, and another weed along with the rising sun. My choice then, is to either do nothing and let it grow, or to be about my Father’s business, and pull it out. To be encouraged, one weed at a time. To instead plant seeds.
I gave my son a rock with a verse on it almost a year ago. He didn’t give it a second thought and I didn’t think he really cared about it. He had a bucket of rocks… Then a week ago he walked up to me, fist clinched, out of the blue, and with all the sincerity a little boy can muster, he said, “Dad, Thankyou.” I could tell from his tone of voice and his dead-on stare that this was one of those moments. I said, “Thanks for what?” He opened up his fist, and there it was in the palm of his hand, “Thankyou for this rock.” A lightbult went off…Something had clicked.
He’s been carrying it with him ever since, and the verse that was painted on the rock is wearing off. He’s talking about repainting the faded words back on, but it doesn’t matter…he now has that verse memorized. It’s in his heart.
That’s the difference between weeds and seeds.