I wonder what Adam thought when he saw the first weed. You know, in Genesis, after he and his wife destroyed the perfection of their garden home with sin.
He’d been used to tending plants in a pre-fall kind of way; what I imagine was mainly watering and pruning and picking fruit to eat. But here now, all of a sudden, he is thrust into a life of agriculture, and what is sprouting up in the rows he’s planted?
Not the seeds he has sown, but other plants. Aggressive plants. Plants that look like the plants you want at first, but show themselves to be traitors.
Maybe he did what I did two weeks ago in the cilantro bed. I put little stakes by every plant I thought might be a cilantro, since this was my first time growing it and I didn’t want to pull up my seedlings by mistake. I let those plants grow a little, and watched and waited to see which ones would prove to be the good plant that I actually planted.
Weeds have taught me a lot about sin this summer. How is grows the second you turn your back. How you must be always watchful and vigilant to pull each one, and get all of it by the root. How sometimes the ground is just too hard and dry to weed very well, and you might have to wait for a little rain to soften the earth.
I think God delights to speak to us in these every day mundane ways. Even just today I was out there in the cilantro bed, pulling up the stakes by most of the plants that I had previously thought were cilantro, but are in fact weeds. (I know now what a tiny cilantro plant looks like, because finally, after weeks of waiting and almost entirely giving up, they emerged. And the shape and fragrance of the leaves, even in the tiniest seedlings, could not be mistaken for anything else.)
So I’m out there today in my garden, in the quiet heat of a summertime afternoon, and I realize this: Without diligent cultivation, all we would have in our garden is weeds. Even with consistent cultivation it stills feels like an uphill battle sometimes. If I get busy, and it takes me longer than my regular every-other-day to get out to my garden to weed, it can feel overwhelming at times, and it’s staggering how fast those weeds grow; so much faster than the things we actually plant.
I think our lives are like this too. Maybe you are in a season of busyness, and you feel like you don’t have “time” to cultivate good in your life. This could be something as simple as reading your Bible for a few minutes, using your commute to look to God in prayer, or sharing what you have been going through with a godly friend. Maybe you keep thinking to yourself that while you aren’t moving forward, you’re just staying still; still at the place you always were with God and others.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t think God does anything by accident or coincidence. So I think he might want us to take a cue from the garden today. Without diligent cultivation all we would have in our garden is weeds.
I say this as a gentle rebuke, for myself and anyone reading. If you think that you can just take it easy and take a break from diligently cultivating a walk with Jesus, you might find yourself becoming overwhelmed with weeds. We are in a constant battle with the enemy, who wants nothing more than to choke out our fruitfulness with the cares of this life; but that is not what God has for us. He wants us to flourish.
This is not a push towards religiosity. This is not a post to make you feel guilty. This is a post from a woman who spent the weekend choosing to forget why it was she had been waking up early to spend time in the Word, so instead she chose to sleep in because she had stayed up too late watching TV. And then Sunday morning rolled around and the whole sermon I was battling distraction like it was my job, and Satan was trying to wedge his foot in the door of my heart with little lie after little lie, until finally I begged God for help. He showed up of course, as he always does, and the second half of my day was filled with his presence.
We’ll never do it perfectly; but if we want to live lives of abundance out of the wealth of God’s presence, we need to spend time there. And everybody has the time to shoot up a silent prayer while doing the dishes, or to sing worship music on the commute, or to just choose to be honest about where you are at with someone who cares, even if it’s just a simple text that says,
“SOS! I AM BATTLING__________RIGHT NOW! PLEASE PRAY FOR ME.
So if it’s been a few too many days since you’ve been out in the garden, get going! You won’t regret it. Even if you see a lot of weeds, there will always be those few brave cilantro plants that dared to raise their heads. And you know it by now don’t you, that God is there in the garden with you, and he’s the one who makes those good plants grow.
Things to help you grow:
Has anyone else been as amazingly inspired by Wonder Woman as I have been? Mary Carver seems to be! Check out her post and get a free printable if you subscribe.
And this book which I haven’t read, looks amazing and might have to be next in my Amazon cart. GraceLaced by Ruth Chou Simons. This beautiful book releases today.