Sometimes I like to pull weeds. Truth be told, I like it a lot.
There’s something about kneeling down, grabbing an unwanted plant by its base, and yanking it out with vigor and force that feels so satisfying. Ridding the earth of that which is unwelcome and clearly evil (or so it appears to the one weeding).
And if I’m mad, I’m even better at pulling weeds. I grind my hands knuckle deep into that earth and tug for all I’m worth.
Take that, you nasty weed! I don’t want you! Get outta here! And don’t come back!
But sometimes in my weed pulling frenzy, I accidently pluck out a plant that I really wanted to keep. Such as a strawberry plant. Or beautiful flower. No sooner than I pick it, do the regrets show up on my emotional doorstep.
Why didn’t I slow down? Why wasn’t I more cautious? If I’d just taken a little more time, I wouldn’t have ruined the future of that sweet little plant.
Of course, I can try to replant it. Sometimes I’m successful. Most often I’m not.
And as I contemplate my love for weeding and my longing to rid my garden and lawn of that which I deem undesirable, I’m struck by the reality of how often God has to weed me. He deliberately and lovingly plucks out my prickly pride, the growing greed, the deeply rooted bitterness and ugly envy out of my heart.
And sometimes the fruits of the Spirit that have been slowly and painstakingly developing are so tangled up in those weeds, He has to start the garden of my soul completely over, clearing everything out of the way so the good things can grow again.
God does a much better job of weeding than I do. He knows how to gently sort through, pruning and tending as He goes along in His patient fatherly way.
“For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations.” (Isaiah 61:11)
How about you? Are you actively growing good fruit, or are you presently being weeded?
We can trust that the Master Gardener has it all under control and He will produce a glorious garden in His perfect timing. Because the best garden of all is fashioned by the loving and faithful hands of our God. He knows the exact amount of water needed. The best soil. He brings the sunshine right on cue. And He recognizes the perfect time to weed out anything that will get in the way of our growth. But we must be willing to submit ourselves to the master plans of the Gardener.
As a father tends his children, so our Father weeds us — gently and carefully. With the perfect amount of firmness and love. To bring forth a beautiful garden. Plentiful and flourishing. For His glory.