My husband and I are completely new to the gardening business. We are enjoying our first attempt at the hobby, however, and each day finds one or both of us out there searching for weeds along the rows of radishes and zucchini, potatoes and tomatoes, peppers and beets.
Some of the weeds are very obvious. They grow between the rows, and we’ve been doing a pretty good job of keeping those cleaned out.
Some of the weeds, however, are growing in the same place as the plants, and it is often difficult to differentiate the young plants from the weeds. The last thing we want to do is to pull up a precious plant…
As the weeds and plants grow together, it soon becomes obvious which ones are weeds and which are the plants growing from the seeds we planted. Even then, however, we have to be very careful, for in uprooting a weed that is too close to a plant, it is also very easy to uproot the plant…
Yesterday, as I inspected the flourishing plants for flowers, I began to notice something else… Sometimes the weeds actually — hide! It is only when you move the plant leaves aside that they are exposed!
But where did those weeds come from? I mean, it is a new garden in a raised bed, the dirt is all fresh dirt from the nursery. How come we have so many weeds in the first place?
The answer is simple: The “good” dirt from the nursery more than likely was harboring weed seeds. And the special care we are giving the garden beds not only stimulates the good seed to grow, but the weeds as well…
This all reminds me of our battle against sin.
Just like my dirt from the nursery was laden with weed seeds, we are born with a sinful nature. This means that we will all sin: “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” (Romans 3:23 NLT See also 1 John 1:8,10).
Just like the weeds must be dealt with or they will overrun my garden and choke out the vegetable plants, sin must also be done away with in our lives. If we don’t fight it, it will grow bigger and flourish, and eventually, it will bock out our ability to communicate with God: “It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore.” (Isaiah 59:2 NLT); and “If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” (Ps. 66:18 NLT).
The problem is, many of those sins are so familiar to us that we often don’t even realize they are there. They “hide”, wrecking their havoc from their secret places, and we may never even realize what is the root of our problems!
Take depression, for example. It is a big “weed”. I know it’s there, and I try to keep it at “pulled”. The problem is, it is usually rooted in something else. There is nothing that will throw me into depression as quickly as being out of control, being angry, or even disappointment. If I don’t want depression to flourish in my life, I have to seek these roots that it feeds on. I have to be aware of moments when I’m out of control and relinquish all control to God. I have to be aware of disappointment, and give these disappointments back to God, ever believing that He knows best. I have to identify anger the moment it sprouts and forgive. When I do, the depression has nothing to grow on!
Why can’t I just uproot anger once and for all? Or control? Or even disappointment? Because all of these things are often hidden under the umbrella of “normal”. I don’t realize they are a problem. After all, don’t I have a right to be upset when someone hurts me? Isn’t it human to be disappointed when things don’t go the way I anticipate?
Nonetheless, just like those weeds that are hiding under the leaves of the vegetables in my garden must be pulled out, all of those sins — the hidden ones as well as the blatant ones — must be done away with in order for us to shine for Jesus Christ, in order for us to optimize our relationship with Him, in order for us to be able to profit from the many blessings that God has for each of His children.
There is good news, however. Our sin was all taken care of at the cross. The first step to “weeding” our lives is to confess Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour and accept His gift of Salvation. If you have never done that, I urge you to answer the Saviour’s Call today. You can do so in one of three ways: 1. You can view our Salvation video; 2. You can visit our Savior’s Call webpage, available in 10 different languages; 3. Or you can email us, and we’ll be happy to help you accept Jesus into your heart!
The second step is to seek out the sin and confess it: “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” (1 John 1:9 NLT).
Finally, we need to seek God’s help in freeing us from that sin. Remember, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13 NASB). On our own, we can’t overcome temptation. Sheer will power alone is not enough. We must seek God’s strength to overcome. This means we must:
a. Humble ourselves before Him: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, … being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8 NKJV);
b. We must hate our sin as much as He does: “…who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.” (Hebrews 5:7-8 NKJV); and
c. We must seek His will above our own: “… not My will, but Yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42 NKJV).
No matter where we stand with the Lord, it is always a good idea to do a “weed hunt” from time to time. Ask God’s Spirit to reveal to you the hidden sins that separate Him from you: “The Spirit will come and show the people of this world the truth about sin and God’s justice and the judgment. The Spirit will show them that they are wrong about sin, because they didn’t have faith in me.” (John 16:8-9 CEV). Don’t delay! Do it today.
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two adult boys, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, The Illustrator, a four-times-a-week internet newsletter, and the Sermon Illustrator website, all with Answers2Prayer Ministries.