Wow! That’s a lot of weeds! And there is nothing I hate more than fighting weeds. You might ask, “Well, then why are you a farmer?” And I’d reply, “Aren’t we all?” You see, I’m willing to bet that there are more similarities in the things that go on in our daily lives and the things that go on in the fields on my farm than most recognize.
I believe we all have weeds that creep into our life. Just like in a field, some are easy to identify while others aren’t. Some grow slow, and some seem to spring up overnight. Some are deeply rooted, and others keep coming back even after we thought we had killed them again and again, and yet again. Sometimes we justify having them by saying they really don’t cause much damage, if any at all. Better yet, it costs too much or requires too much work. And why is it we usually focus on the ones by the highway that people easily see, but leave the back 40 acres until they are either overwhelming, or we just give up and flat out accept having them. “Oh well, did my best.”
On one hand it’s kinda comical the behavior and justification we go through in allowing such things to permeate nearly every aspect of our lives. But I think we need to realize two things. The first is that it’s not my farm. It belongs to God. I belong to God. Every year I begin the planting season with a prayer. “Lord, thank You for Your blessings and be with this crop and let it flourish, and if You choose to destroy it, or if You choose to make it lose money, let Your will be done!” Sounds great and sincere, but what is really being said is: “Hey God, I don’t really know if You know, but I have a wife and two kids, and I really need to make some money this year because I will feel inadequate and like a failure as a father and a husband. And if I can’t provide for them, then I’m afraid I’ll become everything I hate. So, if You can make it happen, I’d really appreciate it. In fact, I will serve You and do anything you ask!” Wow! Sounds like I want God to serve me instead of me serving Him. Dang, those deep-rooted, reoccurring, hard-to-kill, weeds that have the prettiest flowers! In a drought, at least they are green! In the spring, the flowers are even irresistible for kids to pick and show mom! But that isn’t the crop, it’s a weed!!! He has planted things in me and around me for His plan and His purpose. Just like we provide good soil, nutrients, and water to ultimately produce something good, He provides us with the same through love, joy, and peace. In fact, He even calls them fruit. (Galatians 5:23-24) It’s fruit of His spirit, not fruit we grow and produce on our own.
Secondly, unlike insects where there are beneficials and pests, there are no good weeds in a crop. Weeds rob nutrients, water, and if not managed will even choke out the very crop that is planted. Fear, insecurity, control, stress, anxiety, prestige, wealth, power, selfishness, convenience, accolades, praise, and so on, are all things that cause us to lose focus on the Kingdom and His righteousness. Even though we feel fulfilled at the moment, ultimately they leave us lacking. Why? Because these things are not planted by God.
During this past year, we have had some difficulties with the many number of things going on. And as I reflect on this time, I am very thankful for everything. I can now see that what I thought I was committed to living as a life in Christ was deeply flawed. I see more clearly, not perfect in vision or in action, but how I need to and want to learn who Christ is today. Can I see people the way He saw the lepers that he healed when everyone else would shun them? (Matthew 8:1-4, Luke 17:11-19) Can I meet people where they are instead of condemning them for not being where I think they should be, like He did when he said to those without sin to cast the first stone? (John 8:7). Can I be like John the Baptist and allow my work to decrease so His can increase? (John 3:30) Can I deny myself, take up my cross, and follow him? (Matthew 16:24)
For more understanding on the matter, I suggest reading Matthew 13. Jesus speaks on the parables of the sower and the seed, and the wheat and tares. I hope you can see the goodness God has planted in your life and not get lost in the weeds. When I manage the weeds in my crop, the crop has the opportunity to thrive. If I can manage the weeds in my life, I am looking for the opportunity God is giving me to grow and thrive in Him. I have some fields to clean up. Do you?
– Written by Lee