We took a break from our gardening theme to highlight Memorial Day last week. Now we will focus upon our final week of Seed – Feed – Weed. We planted the seeds. We fed, or fertilized, the new plants. Now we have to pull a few weeds. We will spend time in a natural garden in the soil and the spiritual garden of the heart.
As we survey our flower gardens, we should be encouraged by the plants that are growing nicely. Soon we will have blossoms to enjoy. However, we most likely will also notice some straggly green things growing that do not look like they came from the seeds we planted. These green things are better known as weeds. We must pull out these unwanted growths before they consume our flower beds.
When we examine the garden of our hearts, I hope we see Christ living in us. Colossians 1:27 says, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” We must not allow this hope of glory to get crowded out of our spiritual gardens. Consequently, there may be a few weeds to pull.
I am not a botanist. It is not necessary for me to identify the specific variety of weeds I am pulling from my botanical garden. For me, weeds are just weeds. My goal is to simply get rid of the pesky plants. However, it is different in the garden of our hearts. In order to pull out weeds that want to overtake our hearts, we must identify them.
Fear is a common weed that tries to take root. We can eradicate fear by allowing love to flourish in our heart’s garden.
Peter is an example of a man who experienced the weed of fear. On the night of Jesus’ arrest, Peter was fearful of what would happen if he acknowledged he was a follower of Jesus. He denied Jesus three times. (see John 19:15-27) After His resurrection, Jesus questioned Peter about his devotion. Three times He asked Peter if he loved Him. (see John 21:15-18) Jesus helped Peter replace fear with love. Peter’s spiritual growth is evident in his sermon at Pentecost. (see Acts 2:14-41)
I John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” May lovely blossoms of love burst into bloom in the garden of our hearts.
Doubt, another weed, must be pulled out by its roots so the seed of faith can grow. We should not allow doubt to consume our spiritual gardens. James 1:6 says, “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” The seeds of weeds travel quickly when blown by the wind. Think of the dandelion. A puffball of seeds airborne by the wind will result in an abundance of yellow flowers.
After pulling out the weeds of doubt, we can anxiously await the growth of faith flowers. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” It will take time for faith to grow in our hearts and become visible. Jesus says in John 11:40, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?“
The worry weed can be hard to control. Philippians 4:6-7 tells us, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Peace posies grow and bloom when worry weeds are eradicated from our heart’s gardens.
In John 16, Jesus told His disciples that He would leave them but the Holy Spirit would come to them. Although they did not comprehend His words, Jesus concluded by saying in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Worldly worry weeds will try to grow. However, we must not let them overtake our hearts. Philippians 4:8-9 tells us how to get rid of these weeds. “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in Me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Sometimes it may take more effort to pull out weeds than we anticipate. Roots can go deeper than expected – physically and spiritually. However, we must be willing to get rid of the weeds that are taking up space. We must be careful to not allow our gardens to become overgrown with weeds that hide summer’s beauty. Encourage new flowers to grow and spread.
Spiritually, let us bloom where we are planted. Allow the beauty of Jesus be be seen. Psalm 90:17 NKJV says, “Let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, And establish the work of our hands for us.”
A garden is a place of life – whether it be the soil or the soul. Plants push back dirt and promises push back doubt. Weeds and worries must be yanked out. Allow flowers and faith to emerge. Both types of gardens are precious in God’s sight.