Thursday, June 21, 2012

Weeding Again...

Our family was poor...very poor...when I was growing up. We had a garden which seemed huge to me at the time, although I am not sure how big I would consider it now. Obviously, it was so big because I was once small. But, it seems enormous when it was time to work in the garden which seemed to be every hot day of the summer.

My brothers and I often watered, weeded and picked the garden. We spent many hours snapping green beans, shelling purple hull peas (until every last fingernail was appropriately colored) and picking tomatoes. I NEVER made a connection between the healthy food of the garden and the temple God gave us in our bodies...NEVER.

As a matter of fact, even as I sit here, God is showing me how I viewed the a sign of being poor. We couldn't afford all of the boxed food at the grocery store, so we had to grow our own. It was not a good thing in my eyes. It was just a reminder that we couldn't do the same things as other kids my age. Wow!

Now, our family has a garden, and my eyes are being opened daily to the references to gardens in the Bible. Genesis 1 finds Adam and Eve in the garden - it's the perfect place. 1 Corinthians 3:5 talks about the Gospel as planting seeds, watering it and then harvesting a crop. John 15 refers to Christ as the vine and reminds us to abide in Him alone! Galatians 6:7 speaks to reaping and sowing while Luke 8:5 provides us with a look at scattering seed.

Yesterday it was time for some weeding in our own garden, and I must say that I was NOT looking forward to it. Weeding is not fun in the heat of the day and brings no satisfaction to my soul. As I'm hunkered down over a squash plant, I hear Jett making huffy breaths about his chore...serious huffy (getting louder with each one to make sure I can hear him) breaths. God quickly reminds me of the Luke 8 passage.

So I begin to share the importance of seed falling on good soil. It was one of those moments when God just speaks the truth, and although I hear myself saying it, I KNOW it is meant for ME more than for my son. You remember the passage, right? A farmer is going to sow his seed. As he scatters it, some falls along the path and gets trampled on while birds eat the remainder of it. Some seed falls among the rocks and doesn't grow because there is no moisture. Other seeds land in the thorns and weeds and get choked out. But, some seed falls on the good soil and yields a harvest 100 times MORE than what was sown.

We do NOT have to interpret this parable on our own...Jesus did it for us in Luke 8:11-15. The seed is the Word of God! The seed that fell among the thorns "stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way, they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature." What? How did I miss that before? They are choked by the things of this world, and they do NOT mature! That was me!!! I was so enamored and addicted to the temporal pleasures of food that I did not heed the weeding God was doing in my life!

God is constantly weeding my life. He removes the things that do not honor Him so that my life will reflect Him more. How much more fruit would there be if the weeds were not there?

What are the weeds in my life? Those attitudes that do not reflect Christ (generally when I'm thinking of how something feels to me or how it affects me...self-serving thoughts), moments of weakness when I am thinking of all the foods I cannot eat, wrong motivations to serve, impatience with my children, expectations of others, etc. There are more than I can name. God weeds them out by showing them to me and digging deep to get rid of all of them.

He has been weeding the health/exercise portion of me for the last six months, and I have to tell you that it's been MIGHTY painful. It has become a focus of His in my life, and I feel like He has a huge spotlight on that area and is weeding it LIVE ON CNN for the world to see. It hurts and it is embarrassing and humiliating and humbling. God is constantly revealing another weed in that area that needs to be removed. I cringe and I submit. I am being weeded for His ultimate glory. His work continues and I'm in pain. I long for what I cannot have. I am not satisfied with the time it takes. I complain and moan. He weeds anyway and reminds me that I am still not where He wants me to be.

At the same time I am thankful that He is the Gardener, and He knows what is best. I do not (clearly). Today is another day...a new day...and I am eager to see He is doing in the Garden this morning.

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