I so admire lovely lawns. Beautiful flowers, well-manicured shrubs, nice “hardscapes” with decorative stones. Longingly browsing through a Southern Living magazine tempts me to covet. I wish. I sigh. Then I snap back to reality. Pretty yards are hard work, and most are either done by someone who is truly gifted with a green thumb, or a real professional.
However, I do attempt to keep mine as neat as possible, such as it is. A few weeks ago, the weeds seemed to be growing almost faster than our grass, so I commenced to pulling. As I was vigorously yanking up the ugly things that were overtaking the others that looked, at least somewhat, presentable, God spoke to me. And through that small chore, here’s what I heard the Holy Spirit say: “You have weeds in your own life, Vivian. Let me help you do some of your own pulling.”
Here’s God’s teachable moment with me—you can probably infer the analogies to my own spiritual life:
- Many of the weeds in my yard were quite small, not deeply rooted, and easy to pull up.
- Some weeds had flowers, which made them seem even at first glance kind of pretty. I had to look twice.
- Some of the weeds mixed in well with the plants and shrubs that were supposed to be there, which made them harder to see. I really had to look carefully. However, some stood alone and were extremely easy to spot.
- Some of them were huge and were deeply rooted. No matter how hard I pulled, I just didn’t have enough strength. The only way I could get rid of those was to cut them down.
- Some popped up in places that seemed impossible to penetrate, like in between bricks.
- Once I got in there and pulled the weeds up, it let light in—and it immediately felt more airy.
- The more I looked for weeds, the easier they were to spot.
Most plants need to be pruned, or cut back, occasionally in order to grow bigger and bloom more. Pruning can seem like a painful part of the process, but the end product is one that is far better—healthier, fuller, lovelier.
John 15 speaks of Jesus as the Vine and us as His branches. Sometimes, the Heavenly Father, our Master Gardner, must cut out things from our lives that hinder our walk with, our growth in, Him.
Dear Jesus, weed me; prune me; grow me!