Let’s talk about gardening.
We’ve had TONS of rain this summer, which is not the norm for central Nebraska. It’s been crazy wet here, which is super great for the crops and pastures.
As a result of all the rain, the weeds have been growing NONSTOP.
I feel like I’ve been on this crazy (annoying?) roller coaster of weeding in the garden. It takes me a few days to get it all weeded, and by that point it’s rained again and I have to start all over, back at the beginning.
It’s been such a blessing to not have to water the garden, but seriously. I can’t keep up.
And that’s just in the garden.
The garden sucks so much of my energy that I’ve completely ignored the flowerbeds around the house. It’s gotten to the point where weeds have grown up in such a slow, constant way that I stopped even noticing them.
It’s like when you have a pile of clutter in a corner of the room. At first its super annoying and you know you need to do something about it. You ignore the pile long enough and just live with it and after a while you don’t even notice it anymore. You’ve become so used to it being there that it’s like it belongs. That pile has become a part of the room and will be there forever.
Not that this has ever happened in my house. Ahem.
Anyway. That’s what has happened with the weeds in my flowerbeds this summer.
I drove down our driveway the other day and for the first time looked, I mean REALLY LOOKED, at my flowerbeds. I looked at them through the eyes of someone who has never been to my house, and oh my word. Talk about embarrassing.
The weeds grew so silently and slowly that I didn’t really notice that they have completely invaded the flowerbeds.
Needless to say, I sucked it up and got to work weeding.
My point is this: I DIDN’T NOTICE how out of control the weeds were. They grew slowly. They were so small and insignificant at first. They crept in and I didn’t notice, until before long they completely took over. Crowding out all the good.
From a distance, I couldn’t even tell the good plants from the bad. They were all mashed up together, completely indistinguishable.
So here’s what gardening taught me about spiritual growth. This same issue COMPLETELY happens in my heart and attitude. I let a negative thought or emotion pop up in my mind, and instead of dealing with it right away, I ignore it. Water it with more bad attitudes until before I know it, the bad stuff has crept in and taken control.
As I was outside weeding and filling bucket after bucket AFTER BUCKET with weeds, God was whispering to me: “HELLO, Jen!?!? These weeds are what’s happening in your heart. LOOK UP. Let go and let Me, the Master Gardener, come in and clear out the weeds so that the good can come through again.”
I’ve been studying John 15 a lot this year. John 15:2 tells us that “He takes away all the branches that do not bear fruit, and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes so that it will bear MORE fruit.”
And the fruit He’s talking about here is SPIRITUAL, the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. There’s no room for all this good fruit if my insides are all filled up with anger, greed, bitterness, jealousy…all the ugly, yucky, every day human feelings that creep into my head and fester just below the surface until they take over and crowd out all the good.
So all that weeding…it’s super important. It’s hard work, but thank goodness I have help: my trusty weed puller for the flowerbeds, and JESUS for the rest.
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