Flourishing Among the Weeds

 

Its the endless spring-through-fall chore. Pull the dandelions. Tug the ivy. Rip out the creeping charlie. And that’s just the grass. If you have a garden, then you see even more to pull.

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We didn’t plant much this spring, but what we have needs to be vigilantly watched. Overnight, those darn weeds poke their heads out of the ground, peeking to see if anyone notices. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if it’s a plant or a weed, so I let it grow a bit to check it out.

Most of the time it’s an invader, and I end up pulling it. The garden sure looks better without them. But the real reason I do it, is to keep the weeds from stealing nutrients and water from the good plants. If I don’t get to them right away, they get BIG.

Underground, the root systems grow like crazy too. The long, thin threads intertwine with anything in it’s way. So sometimes, I end up pulling out baby vegetables along with the weed. That weed had an underground death grip on the veggie, so when I pulled, whoops. I got a two-fer.

Whenever that happens I talk to the good plant. “I’m so sorry I yanked you out. I didn’t want that to happen. But hey, thanks for taking one for the team.” (Don’t tell me you don’t talk to your plants. I know you do!)

Basically, I’m saying that even though the good gets pulled out with the bad, it’s better to sacrifice a small plant or two. There will be more room for the remaining healthy stalks to grow, and that weed won’t start taking over the patch.

I don’t think Jesus would frown on my weeding. This type of culling has been going on for centuries. As a matter of fact, He used this image to illustrate that it was acceptable for plants, but not for people.

The Parable of the Weeds in Matthew’s Gospel describes a field that was sown with good seed. An enemy came at night and secretly sowed weeds in the same field. The question is, should the servants pull up the weeds?

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“No”, he answered, “because while you are pulling the weeds, you might uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest.” Β Matthew 13: 29-30

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We are the wheat that’s so precious to the Lord. He doesn’t want to lose any of it. There’s no ‘taking one for the team’ in Jesus’ playbook. He wants us all to live, move and have our being no matter what our field looks like.

We all have weeds. Problems, negatives, hard choices. Sometimes it’s hard to see our Worried-young-man-holding-his-head-while-looking-at-receiptscrops through them all. But Christ wants us to keep us growing, and even flourishing. We have to trust in His protection, even while we sit in that mixed field.

I’ll keep pulling my garden weeds and apologizing to the casualties. But it’s good to know that Jesus won’t let that happen to me.

I’ll learn to live with the ‘weeds’ in my life, because in the end, they won’t last anyway.

But I will.

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“At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.” Matthew 13: 30

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50 thoughts on “Flourishing Among the Weeds

    • Hi Cheryl! It certainly would make sense to cast us away sometimes, doesn’t it? But He never does, even when there are weeds. We are all so precious, so guarded, so loved.

      Have a wonderful Thursday!
      Ceil

  1. Another wonderful parable from your treasure of writings, Ceil. Thank you.

    A weed is just a plant in the wrong place, a plant that no one wants – yet. It is still one of God’s creations, and He created it for a purpose. One day, perhaps, we will learn that some weed or other has great medical potential to heal, or it has beneficial effects we don’t yet realise.

    God allows evil people to mingle and multiply amongst the good. “He wants us all to live” – as you say. This too has a purpose, maybe yet unknown to us. Perhaps He wants our good example to turn “the bad” ones to His Way and His truth.

    God bless you for being a beacon to His Word.

    • Hi Victor! Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I agree that anything can be a healing force in God’s creation. Even weeds. Who knows what power they have to help us?

      I like the idea of being an example to the bad in my life, instead of thinking about how they tangle my roots and starve me! I’m going to hang on to that idea, thank you πŸ™‚

      You are such a blessing to me my friend. I thank God that we are connected through our blogs,
      Ceil

    • Hi Linda! I am glad that the Lord leaves me alone with the weeds. I don’t want to be yanked out! But you’re right, I certainly do deserve it!

      Have a wonderful day πŸ™‚
      Ceil

  2. Yes! The weed in our lives won’t last, but through God’s grace, we will! Again, Ceil, this is a wonderful, down-to-earth (literally) story to which we can all relate beautifully. Well done, my friend!
    Blessings!

    • Hi Martha! Your comments are so lovely, and I really appreciate your encouraging words. It means a lot coming from a published author!

      Let’s hear it for a God who will put the weeds away from us, and bring us to Himself! Whoo-Hoo!!

      Have a wonderful day,
      Ceil

    • Hi Sandi! You have wise words today. Just like I have to wait and see what’s coming up at times, we have to be careful not to get rid of things that are of value.

      Thanks for visiting today!
      Ceil

  3. I am not a fastidious yard keeper. I keep it mowed. My weed eater died last summer and haven’t had the money to replace it so I have done some pulling but mostly trying to cut as close to the wooden fence as I can. Still not enough though. Sort of like me. Can either allow the Holy Spirit to weed my heart or just get close.

    Just curious: are those peppers filled with tuna salad or chicken salad? Yum!!

    • Hi Bill! I like your analogy of the weeds! My edger died last year, and I don’t think we’re going to replace it either.

      I don’t know what’s in those peppers, it’s a stock photo. Let’s just say it’s chicken. I’d like that better than tuna πŸ™‚

      Happy Thursday!
      Ceil

  4. I hate when I pull out a “good” plant too as I’m pulling weeds. But yes, it happens. I like that you let them know they were appreciated for taking one for the team. πŸ˜‰ Great analogies, Ceil. Thanks for sharing! And you’re welcome to come pull my weeds anytime.

    • Hi Lisa! Pulling weeds is a real chore, isn’t it? I like the product, I’m just not crazy about the process.

      Thank you for your kind words about the post. I do talk to the plants, but I think that’s a common thing. I mean…it is, right??

      Lol!
      Ceil

  5. Hi Ceil, Ah, yes, weeds; that would be a great description of my yard. πŸ™‚ They are part of my “landscaping”. It’s the inner “weeds” that need to be pulled out that my attention is turned towards. If those are allowed to get out of hand, chaos ensues! Well, at least internal chaos. Discipline is needed, bringing every thought captive, and simply turning to the Lord for help when we need it (for me that is frequent!).

    Blessings!

    • Hi Kim! I understand your thoughts here Kim. That weeds, unchecked, can really confuse and sadden. That’s a good point. I do think that sometimes Jesus allows the weeds to flourish so we learn to be peaceful and trusting in them. That’s a hard lesson to grasp, but a good one.

      Let’s all turn to the Lord in our troubles!
      Ceil

    • Hi Anita! I think I remember you telling me about your interesting job. I’m so glad that the theme here touched on an analogy so close to your life.

      Have a wonderful Thursday!
      Ceil

  6. I really like this perspective on the parable of the weeds, Ceil. It’s a comfort to know Jesus will never allow us to pulled and disposed of. Blessings to you! Hugs!

    • Hi Trudy! I’m really happy that you liked the post. What a good Father we have in our God. We’ll make it through the weeds, and live on with Him!

      Thursday blessings,
      Ceil

  7. Although I might be a little “straggly” and “prickly” at times, I’m glad the Lord knows the value in even me… even when I don’t feel worthy of His goodness. That’s when the pruning comes in…but I guess that’s another post entirely, right? πŸ™‚ Great post, my friend!

    • Hi Debby! Oh yes, that’s another post for sure!

      God knows what He has made, and He made a masterpiece in you. No way does He want to lose you. Such a wonderful God we have!

      Have a peaceful evening πŸ™‚
      Ceil

  8. I’m glad I’m not the only one who talks to plants. I always feel sane here! And uplifted too knowing that Jesus will tenderly care for me without hurting me!

    Have a blessed day, sweet sister!
    Mary

    P.S. Bet your garden is beautiful.

    • Hi Mary! Thank you for your generous words about the blog and the post. You are such a great support to me. How blessed I feel!

      And how blessed we are with our God! He’ll make sure we make it through the weeds, and right to His arms.

      Hope your day was a great one!
      Ceil

      My garden is ‘okay’. I’m working on my petunias!

  9. Well said, Ceil. I am constantly pulling weeds–beds and grass. They grow like wildfire and their roots are entrenched and impossible to pull at times. Reminds me of sin—-if we don’t nip it in the bud in the early stages–it will take over our life.
    Blessings, Friend!

    • Hi Lulu! I know what you mean about the entrenched roots. I have some grass that started up in my wood chips. They refuse to come out! I just end up ripping the tops off of them. It is best to get at them early. Again, it’s a vigilance thing, right?

      Have a peaceful evening,
      Ceil

  10. A good message about weeding out the bad seed from the good. Hubby planted some wildflower seeds and waited to see what came up before he thinned the plants. The ones with flowers he didn’t pull up. πŸ˜‰

    • Hi Cecelia! Sounds like a great plan to me! I tried sowing wild flower seeds, but they didn’t germinate very well. I’m glad your husband had better luck!

      Hope you had a great Friday,
      Ceil

    • Hi Patty! You are always so encouraging to me. Thank you!

      I don’t know if my patients loved me or not. I think the guy I wrote about in the new Chicken Soup book appreciated spending time with me. As you know, it depends on what you’re about to do πŸ™‚

      Happy Weekend!
      Ceil

  11. Ironic as I spent the afternoon outside weeding ( and being ate up by mosquitoes! ) Weeds grow differently in different seasons too. Thinking of that since we are having a cooler ( doesn’t stop em) but wetter ( makes them grow quicker) summer this year. Makes me wonder if certain type of human weeds germinate within me different depending on my season and/or mood. Some come easier than others too. Some are even pretty… man you got me thinking tonight. ( :

    • Hi Jean! Those are some really great follow-up questions, hey, go for it! You should write a piece yourself about it. Hmmm. Maybe a talk is in the works for us on this subject?

      Weekend blessings,
      Ceil

  12. Oh this is just so beautiful Ceil! You are truly blessed with Godly wisdom and your words bring so much encouragement to my soul. Thank you for this lesson, dear sister. You blessed me so. <3

    (I DID see your comment on FB! I loved your precious encouragement! Thank you, my friend!!! Hanging in there… let me know when it's your turn to take the screws out. It's surely no fun, but NOTHING compared to our initial recovery. I have loved that we have soldiered this journey together… your strength has given me mine.)

    • Hi Chris! You are such an encourager by nature, thank you so much for blessing me with your gift!

      I go back to the surgeon in September. I’ll keep you posted. So happy that your surgery went so well. Your FB poll about letting your son eat ice cream for breakfast was so funny! Love your sense of humor my friend.

      Happy Weekend πŸ™‚
      Ceil

  13. Another great parable. I love it! And I thought after reading this: at times we see something like weeds in our hearts, in our lives, in our churches. But it isn’t weed. Sometimes it is a precious plant with a powerful medicinal effect. So we can ignore people because we think they are weeds. They are strange. But … God alone knows what is in the heart.

    God knows our own weed. He wants help to catch the little “foxes”, the ugly weeds that ruin our (and his) Vineyard.

    Thank you so much Ceil, for writing this great post. Big hug from Europe.

    • Hi Ariella! Great thoughts here, thank you! I think it’s very valid to say that we often label people weeds who are really God’s wonderful gifts to us. It’s all a matter of seeing as God sees.

      Big hug right back from the USA πŸ™‚
      Ceil

  14. I’ll never look at my weeds the same way again! This was good. Very good. My problem here is that we have more weeds than real plants…we live in the scrub forest, with sandy soil, and planting a real garden takes a lot of patience and work. Something I seem to be rather short on. But you have inspired me. In more ways than just nature’s weeding. God probably gets frustrated with the process too…and it takes a lot of patience and work to keep us growing strong. I’m so glad to know He doesn’t give up on us. Thank you for these good thoughts today. Happy weeding!

    • Hi Pam! It sounds like you live in a very challenging place for a garden. I guess that is a lot like trying to bloom while we are surrounded by challenges.

      I’m so glad this inspired you. Planting and keeping up our gardens along with weeding is a challenge! But I know we’re up to it. Just as God is with us!
      Blessings,
      Ceil

  15. Good morning Ceil! πŸ™‚

    There are surely times when I feel like a weed; wrong choices, impatience, grumbling, etc. I am so glad God talks me through these rough times with tender forgiveness and words of encouragement. With His help I can usually turn these around and come out smelling like a rose!! πŸ™‚ Those weeds can certainly be annoying!!

    Have a week full of joy and sunshine sister!
    Denise β™₯

    • Hi Denise! Ah…to be a rose among the weeds. That’s a great goal for me. To not only bloom, but to beautiful doing it. Great image for me, thank you!

      We all deal with those darn weeds, but God’s encouragement stays with us, just as you said. That’s the fertilizer we need to keep growing in Him!
      Hope you’re having a wonderful Sunday πŸ™‚
      Ceil

  16. Hi Ceil,
    yes I talk to plants too and rescue them,like when my husband knocked a branch with a bud on off my ‘fragrant cloud’ rose while mowing the lawn, and I planted it in a tub of soil. I could never have thrown it away. I can not pull up certain wild flowers that many people would call weeds until they have stopped flowering.
    I love the way that nature speaks spiritually, and have for a while been taking pictures in my garden for another post I have started to put together. I think we are like minded where the garden is concerned.
    Lovely post Ceil, God bless.

    • Hi Brenda! It does sound like we are both inspired by the garden image, and our gardens too. I love that you saved your rose twig, and I hope it grew roots that will last.

      Nature is our brother, we were both created by the same Father! We do the right thing trying to learn from it. Can’t wait to read your post too!
      Sunday blessings,
      Ceil

  17. Hi Ceil, Yet another reminder of how each one us is so precious in the eyes of Lord despite all our ‘dramas’ πŸ™‚ The Lord is so gracious and also equal to the task. Able to complete the good work He has already began in us.

    Thanks for sharing your reflection on this beautiful parable πŸ™‚

    • Hi Shade! It’s always great to see you here!

      You’re so right, God can bring us to complete our good works for Him. And that includes growing, even among the weeds!

      Hope you had a great weekend πŸ™‚
      Ceil

  18. I never considered before that the good may be pulled out too, when weeding out the bad. I see this in my own life, and am now understanding that God prunes the good too so I learn to look to Him only and grow deeper roots with Him.

    • Hi Lynn! There’s always so much to learn with the parables. So many layers! I don’t think I’ll ever be done reading them with an eye to find something new. Sound like you are the same way.

      Have a great weekend πŸ™‚
      Ceil

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