Working Out the Weeds

“So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life. –  James 1:21 (The Message)

Weeds, one of those curious creations I often wonder about.  Why do we have them, what is their purpose, and how can they be so fruitful?  They seem to survive – no thrive, in rather unlikely conditions.  The rarest raindrop, or the dullest soil can’t seem to deter their eagerness to overtake my garden.

Go, they must.  They are a messy expression of tiredness, decay, and disorder.


So I pluck and pull, twist and strain, and I begin to see these weeds as more than steadfast thieves that steal life-giving nutrients from the plants that truly bless me with joy and wonder.


They represent something deeper and more personal, they embody my sins.


I grasp a weed whose roots are shallow, but its spread is wide, and as I lift it away, I see that it has invaded far more than I first thought.  It clings desperately to the surrounding plants, wanting to keep a foothold.

Such are my sins.


I come across another, and its beauty is vibrant.  A sweet scent, colorful blooms, surely this isn’t a weed?  How could something so lovely to look upon be a thief?


Such are my sins.


There, close to the ground, is a horrible looking weed.  Its leaves are rough, and its stem is full of thorns.  It’s painful to get a hold of, and the roots are long and gnarled.  It won’t budge, and I don’t have the resolve to face it one more minute.  Perhaps I should cover it up, and let it lie where it is…


Such are my sins.


Our Master Gardener understands how we become overwhelmed by the enormity of our sins, or how we can easily become confused by death revealing itself as life.  He understands when the pain and depth of hidden sin beats our courage, and makes us weary.

He will lovingly prune and tend to his garden, and never tire or strain under the work that must be done.


Our weakness is his strength, we only need to give way to the weeding process.


And when he begins to reveal the true nature of his creation, we will experience a freedom and ease that will allow us to grow and thrive.


Will weeds come again? Sure, but our Lord is a most attentive gardener.  If we trust in him constantly to unfold the beautiful garden within us, he will show us how our lives were designed to be full of hope, promise and purpose.


Hope in Motion

  1. This week, I encourage you to invite the Lord to tend to the weeds in your garden, boldly asking him for the strength to face his steady, yet merciful pruning.  How has his work begun to change your spirit?
  2. Read 1 John 1:9 and claim God’s promise as your own.
  3. Reflect on the character of God described in 1 John 1:5-10.  Consider what he says about sin, and his promise if we seek the truth.  What have you learned?  Leave a comment!


2 Replies

  1. Raye, Your description of the weeds (sin) that are rough, thorny and painful to get a hold of and tough to come out hit a visual cord. Sometimes it’s so hard to let God take of those painful roots because they become a part of who I am and if feels like it will hurt more if they die. Thank you for the vision of His compassion and love mercifully pruning that which needs to die so that I my live closer to Him. Love Ya Girl.

    1. Isn’t it interesting how we become so comfortable with our rough and thorny weeds? It’s hard to convince ourselves to trade in consistent pain for a shorter pain that leads to glory. May you live closer to him, our Master Gardener, my friend!

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