by Tracy Cooper
I admit, I am not a gardener. I do not have a green thumb. And I am not one to spend days in a garden planting and weeding. As a matter of fact, I generally plant and weed in the early spring and expect the garden to remain in good shape throughout the summer.
The other day, however, I spent 6 hours in just one garden area of my backyard weeding and mulching. Believe it or not, I had actually weeded this area in early spring. The problem was I had never covered it with mulch, leaving it to fend for itself. A big mistake. Soil, sunlight and plenty of rain promotes growth. What grew were weeds. Wow, did they flourish! This caused the garden to look like chaos and choked out the the desirable plants.
I know that if I had covered this area in mulch and tended to it, it would have remained a beautiful area. A protective layer of mulch and a commitment to nurture this garden would have kept the weeds at bay.
What about the “weeds” in our life? You know, things like selfishness, worry, busyness, chasing wealth, trying to please others, gossip, hurt, insecurities, addictions, distractions and so many more.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary describes a weed like this: a plant that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth. One that tends to overgrow or choke out more desirable plants.
We allow these types of weeds to spring up in our life (our garden) all the time. We ignore them, and they flourish. Eventually, they have us gripped so tight. Choking our joy. Creating chaos in our lives.
We pull them. And everything is fine.
Or is it?
Have you ever pulled weeds only to see them grow back thicker the next time? Choking out the desirable plants, or in life…fruit of the spirit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
Why do you suppose that is?
I have found that in my life, I can’t just pull the weeds and forget about them. I need to ask God to cover each situation I am dealing with, with grace and mercy. And I must commit to nurturing my garden, not neglect it. If I don’t, the weed will slowly find a way to creep back in and take over. That’s what weeds do.
How many times have you pulled “weeds” out of your life? Do you find yourself pulling the same ones over and over? Ask God to cover the situation in a protective layer of mulch, “grace and mercy”, and then be sure to nurture your garden.
Beautiful gardens do not grow naturally. Weeds do!