In the Weeds
I have always had a myriad of excuses of why I don’t keep a nice garden. I have sensitive skin and burn easily in the sun, basically, I can’t take the heat! However this year, I REALLY want a successful garden, and this time, I am determined to follow it through to the end.
Unfortunately, last year my overgrown garden weeds went to seed and blew throughout the dirt. Every year, I give up on the garden about halfway through the season and deal with the same overgrown weed problem. ￼As a result, it is an exhausting task to put my garden in order in the Spring.
Thorns and Thistles
This week, I spent several hours outside in the weeds and dirt, in my galoshes, wearing my rubber garden gloves so that I would not get stabbed with thorns (or spiders). As I worked, I thought about how awful it was that weeds exist, they are like sin, they are such a nuisance. There’s so much of it to yank out and it just keeps coming. As I was thinking about the troublesome weeds, the Lord brought to my mind the scripture from Genesis of the judgment received after Adam and Eve sinned…
Thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field ~Genesis 3:18
God has given us some amazing parables about gardening, one of which is the parable of the sower, which is referenced in the sidebar (or below). When Jesus was talking to His disciples about this parable, he said the following:
“Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?” ~Mark 4:13
This scripture in Mark, should stop us in our tracks. We need to be able to understand this key parable. It seems so simple and yet complicated at the same time. A simple lesson I understood from this parable, is that if we are not grounded in goodness and truth, it is easy to fall away. However, there is always more to learn when it comes to anything that Jesus has taught us. I encourage you to take time reflecting on this parable about the sower.
When it comes to the garden, I always thought I could pull weeds here and there, and tend to the plants once a week and that would be sufficient. But in reality, the weeds quickly take over. This is similar to how I, as a new Christian, viewed spending time with the Lord. In the past, I was often late to get to church so I could miss worship music, quickly listen to the sermon, and then quickly leave. At first, I did not realize how crucial it was to release my everyday life and just sit in the presence of God, whether that be at home or in a house of worship.
Loving the garden
Not surprisingly, the most effective gardeners are those who love and cherish their garden. They come out every day to work the land and tend to it. They keep an eye on it, they rejoice over every budding plant and love their blooming flowers. When the harvest comes they share it with everyone they know and tell everyone about their beautiful garden and all the things that are growing in it.
The garden is much like our relationship with the Lord. When we barely open our Bibles and hardly attend church, we have a hard time creating intimacy with Jesus. We must nourish our relationship with God by consistently learning and listening to the Word of God, prayer, fellowship, scripture interpretation and worship music, to name a few. These things can deepen and strengthen our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Having this intimate relationship creates peace and love in our hearts that cannot be fulfilled in the world.
The Perfect Gardener?
￼￼Taking care of a garden is hard work, it wears on your knees and your back. Some weeds are tiny little things that seem like they’re no big deal until you come back to the garden the next day and find they’ve multiplied ten-fold and completely taken over. ￼￼Some weeds are big and tall and quite obvious. They are deeply rooted so you get out the little shovel to make sure you get the entire root that has anchored itself in the soil. ￼There are no perfect gardeners. The weeds will always come back but the result of perseverance is a beautiful garden with many benefits. The fact is, if you don’t spend much time gardening, you aren’t going to bear much fruit.
Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord;
His going out is sure as the dawn;
He will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth.
Are you spending time with Jesus on a regular basis? We are able to make time for things that are important to us, even when we are busy. Jesus knows exactly what you need. He only asks that you lay your burdens at His feet and ask for His help. ￼He can’t wait to spend time with you! Just like we make time to tend to a garden to enjoy its benefits, consider making time on a regular, daily basis to connect with our Lord and Savior, Jesus. When you do, you will be amazed at the abundance of His fruit in your life.
Here is a fun and useful resource on gardening that you may enjoy, a film called Back to Eden. It is packed with helpful ways to grow your garden the way God intended:
Parable of the Sower
“Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that
“‘they may indeed see but not perceive,
and may indeed hear but not understand,
lest they should turn and be forgiven.’” And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?
The sower sows the word. And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them.
And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.
And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.
But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”
About the Author – Bethel Jiricek
Bethel resides in the beautiful foothills of Colorado. Born and raised without much biblical influence, she began to diligently pursue the Word of God after struggling with work, family and relationships. She started listening to the Bible every evening, finally making a commitment to read and study the entire Bible, from beginning to end. While going through this extensive study, she realized it was positively changing her life, softening her heart and her attitude towards others. Now she has an intense desire to keep studying while sharing God’s love and wisdom with others through her writing.
My true desire is to get everyone in their Bibles – learning the Word of God and spending quality time with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ every single day. ~ Bethel