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