Sunday afternoon as we pulled into the driveway I glanced over at my garden and discovered something horrible had happened: someone had planted WEEDS! They were springing up here and there, not in great abundance but clearly some of them had been growing for a couple of weeks. Needless to say, the first thing on my to-do list for Monday was to weed the garden! I can’t have weeds taking over and disrupting the aesthetics of my flower beds!
I noticed that the monarda seeds were about gone so I cut those plants back. I usually leave the monarda for a while after the blooms drop because that is when the yellow finches show up. I love to see them hanging from the top of the stem as they eat the seeds out of the dead flower heads. I inspected the coneflowers and decided to leave them another week. There are still some flowers hanging on and plenty of seeds left for the birds.
I worked carefully around the crape myrtle trees which are in full bloom and dropping beautiful fuchsia petals all over the driveway. I didn’t want to disturb them any more than I had to because I didn’t want to be the cause of that glorious color leaving before its time. As I watched them wave gently in the breeze I couldn’t help but think about the toxic people in my life who had so often disturbed the blooms of joy and hope and left me naked and barren.
As I pulled the weeds I discovered a new one that I had not seen before. I’m not sure what it is but it is really quite lovely. In fact, I was tempted to leave it except it looked very prolific and I believe it would have taken over in a very short time. It is a creeper growing along the ground – in both the gravel and the mulch – and it has a very lacy look. It was also a bear to pull up. I had to do some digging to get rid of it.
I enjoyed the time I spent weeding the beds and pruning back those flowers that had finished blooming. There is just something about working in the garden that is so therapeutic. It is also a wonderful time for private, uninterrupted time with the Lord. After all, people don’t generally volunteer to help so I am left in peace to putter as long as I want.
As the Lord and I worked side-by-side He spoke to me in parables. We talked about the weeds that spring up in my life when I become lax or lose my focus, and He reminded me that He often prunes those things in me that have ceased to bloom, making way for a greater blossoming to come. We talked a bit about the beautiful weed that I almost left in place and He reminded me that weeds can spring up in our lives which are deceptively beautiful and which can quickly choke out the good fruit and beauty of our gardens. One example is when we talk about what the Lord is doing in our lives. Sometimes those testimonies take on a life of their own and the recipient of God’s glory can become prideful and boastful, as though they were deserving of the blessing that God provided or had in some way earned it. Testimony turned to boasting is a weed that destroys not only our testimony but also makes it impossible for new growth, and it hinders any possible evangelism because unbelievers instinctively know when God is getting the glory or we are taking it for ourselves.
I took this lesson to heart as I do not ever want anyone to think that I believe the good that I have received from the hand of God is because of anything I have done. I, more than anyone else, know that I deserve death and hell and but for the blood of Jesus, that is exactly where I would be headed. Thank you Jesus!
So this afternoon, as the temperature climbs and the grandchildren decide to nap instead of swim (say what?!?), I am taking inventory in my garden, searching for weeds and if need be, getting out the hoe and weed-killer.
Be a blessing!