Posted: 5/17/19 at 3:00pm. Column by Ed Jordan.
Spring is the time for getting our gardens weeded, preparing soil, planting a fresh crop, and hoping for an abundant harvest.
I really enjoy nurturing the plants in my garden, and watching for signs of growth, health, blossoms, and fruit. We grow some herbs like Thai basil, thyme, lemon grass, parsley and basil, as well as several varieties of peppers, from sweet Hungarian peppers to jalapenos to hot Thai peppers.
Gardening would be great fun if it were not for the weeds that continually grow to compete with my plants. The weeds always grow faster than my plants, which means I have to stay on top of weeding the garden, all the time. It’s not fun, but if I am to get any produce from the garden, it must be done.
Weeds cause lots of potential problems for the plants in our gardens. They compete for the same resources needed by our plants. Weeds gobble up the nutrients and fertilizers from the soil, and they block the needed light from our seedlings.
Weeds drink up the available water and crowd the space for stable roots. They’ve got to go! It’s best to pull out the weeds early, so that our plants aren’t damaged. But weeds are competitive and aggressive, and they re-infest our gardens quickly.
Do you realize that just like there are literally competitive and aggressive weeds that grow in our gardens, our spiritual lives also get infested with spiritual weeds too? Spiritual weeds must be dealt with quickly, lest they choke out our spiritual lives.
In Luke 8:4-8 Jesus told the story that is normally called the “Parable of the Sower,” in which a sower went out to sow. As he scattered the seed, it fell on different types of soil. Some seed fell on the path, some on rocky soil, some on weedy, thorny soil, and some on good soil.
The seed on the path got swept aside by all the hurry and scurry on the path. The seed on rocky soil germinated and seemed to do well until the plant roots hit the hardpan underneath, so the plants could not develop healthy roots.
The seed which fell on thorny ground germinated and came alive, but the life of those new plants was choked out by the weeds. The seed in good soil produces 30 to 100 times more than the seeds planted there.
In Luke 8:14, Jesus gives the explanation of the elements of the parable. He said that the sower was sowing the word of Jesus, the word of the Kingdom of God.
He then explained the weeds in this way (Luke 8:14, The Message): “And the seed that fell in the weeds—well, these are the ones who hear, but then the seed is crowded out and nothing comes of it as they go about their lives worrying about tomorrow, making money, and having fun.” Did you notice the three categories of weeds that compete with our spiritual health and growth?
Cares and worries, striving after riches, and spending one’s life and resources on pleasure and fun.
Do you have any of these weeds growing out of control in your life? Worries can bury you, figuratively and literally. When we worry we aren’t trusting God as the source of all that we need in life.
Worry doesn’t leave room for trust. Striving for more and more wealth leaves one discontent, because there is always more wealth to acquire, and never time to even enjoy what we already have. Real security and peace are found in God, not wealth.
Pleasure for its own sake is another addictive weed that never reaches a saturation point. Actually, it does reach a saturation point, but the person is so overly stimulated that they don’t feel the pleasure—just the need for more and more.
One day at the beach is not enough; it must become a weekend, then a month, then a quarter of the year, etc., etc. When you are playing a video game that keeps beating you, you don’t want to quit until you win. It began as pleasure but ends as an obsession. What we sought, while elusive, can enslave us mercilessly at the end.
Weeds are easier to remove while they are still new. Nip those drives in the bud instead of waiting for them to overtake your life.
Are there weeds in God’s garden? Yes, in all of our lives. But we are not to let them continue to grow there!
Ask God to help you pull them out by the roots! God has a great spiritual harvest he wants to produce through your life. Don’t let those pesky weeds choke that out!