My Garden

I like a pretty garden. There is something very satisfying about a well maintained garden with straight, weed-free, and mulched rows.  A well maintained garden will yield  bigger, better, healthier fruit. A well maintained garden will yield a bountiful harvest.  A well maintained garden is inviting and a delight to work in.  A well maintained garden means that someone has been hard at work;  sweating, planting, hoeing, tilling, pulling weeds, spraying for bugs, and fertilizing.

Weeds. Those nasty, uninvited, unproductive, useless plants that spring up overnight, grow 4 times as fast as vegetables, thrive in wet or dry conditions and will overtake a garden if left unattended.  Weeds. Thistles. Briers…one of the curses of the fall when Adam and Eve sinned (Genesis 3: 17-19).

My life is like a garden. I have spent a lot of time and effort planting seeds of kindness, joy, love, good deeds, patience, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).  I have faithfully sprinkled it with prayer and mulched it with the Word of God.  I have harvested good fruit. I have also pulled many weeds, heaping them on piles and burning them at the cross of Jesus Christ.

But the weeds in my garden are a constant challenge. Just when I let down my guard and relax, a root of bitterness, a sprig of doubt, a clump of unkind words, or a brier of selfishness will shoot up and catch me off guard.  The thorny weeds are especially difficult to pull and control. I have pulled weeds of gossip, hate, revenge,  and  impure thoughts.  And there in the midst of my manicured garden a new crop of weeds will appear again and again and again.  The weeds look innocent enough at the beginning and sometimes I even mistake them for a good plant, but left unattended they can  crowd out the vegetables, send down deep, hard-to-pull roots and develop prickly thorns.

I want my life to be a well-manicured garden of faith.  I want my heart to be free of sin and watered with the goodness of God’s abundant grace.  I want a bountiful harvest of good fruit.  I want my words, my thoughts and my conduct to be pure, holy and honorable. At the end of my life I want to hear the words, “well-done, thou good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:23) But until then, I’m just gonna have to keep pullin’ those weeds.

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