Every spring as soon as the weather is tolerable, my husband gets out the gardening tools from the backyard shed.
It’s gardening time!
Time to pull up the weeds and prune the dead branches and shrubs left over from the harsh winter months. Then it is time to till the soil and mulch the garden beds before adding new annuals and even a few perennials.
I find this process both tedious and tiresome and I have to admit I am more of a spectator than I am an active participant. Gardening just isn’t one of my strengths nor is it one of my favorite things to do. My husband, on the other hand, thoroughly enjoys his time in the garden. Having an artistic gifting, he loves and welcomes the opportunity to take part in shaping and encouraging new growth that brings visual beauty.
It is almost like our garden is the canvas and he is Van Gogh!!
But one thing we both look forward to is the end result. When the flowers bloom and the trees and shrubs produce new leaves, color appears and the harshness of winter completely disappears.
Truly a time of renewal, rebirth and restoration when our hope is restored in what was lost and what is to come. However, the gardening is not a one time event. At least once per week my husband can be found kneeling in our flower beds pulling the weeds that threaten to over-take the garden and choke back its growth and beauty. It is a time-consuming process that requires patience and much energy but the results are usually worth the effort put into it.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
Our hearts also require frequent “gardening”.
In fact, it takes a purposeful effort to daily assess the soil of our hearts to ensure it is soft and pliable. It also takes this same effort to ensure weeds are not creeping in and suffocating our fruitfulness.
Life can be overwhelming and distracting. Sometimes we do not even realize our hearts, when left unattended, can become full of weeds that has the potential to choke out our responsiveness to God and to each other. It doesn’t take much effort for weeds to grow and flourish, and they can literally grow out of control.
I know that this is one time I, personally, cannot afford to be a spectator. I have to be an active participant in cultivating the soil of my heart and remain vigilant in pulling out any weeds that might be growing there.
All this talk about weeds !
What weeds could we possibly have growing in our hearts?
and the list goes on.
These weeds represent areas in our lives that require complete surrender to God, areas, that if not attended to, will impede our spiritual growth.
I realize when my heart is full of weeds, it becomes difficult to pray, to be in God’s presence and to hear and respond to His voice. When I’m angry or resentful towards someone, I find it difficult to pray and I feel as if my prayers just doesn’t seem to reach God’s ears.
I’m sure you have noticed the same. A falling out with the hubby, a friend who has the most unrealistic expectations or that co-worker who just rubs you the wrong way? It could even be that in-law who doesn’t know healthy boundaries…oh they make us so angry.
Weeds… choking our love and affection.
God desires for our hearts to bear much fruits. It takes time and hard work but a weed-free heart results in joy, peace, love and great communication with God and others. I believe one of the best ways to minimize or deter weeds from growing in our hearts is to know and meditate on the word of God. Sometimes, no matter what we do, weeds are going to come, it’s just the sinful nature of the world we live in. However, we need to constantly examine the condition of our hearts and be willing to perform the necessary work it takes to protect it.
I have never seen or heard of anyone admiring an overgrown weed-filled garden. However, a well-groomed and manicured one is always beauty to the eyes and draws the attention of many admirers. Like wise, no one wants to be around us when our hearts are hardened and filled with weeds such as bitterness or anger. But when our lives exudes joy and love, people are more likely to be drawn to us.
The less weeds we have in our heart garden, the more attractive our lives will be as the fruits of the Holy Spirit flourishes in us and our hearts can then produce a harvest of righteousness.
“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in me.”
Come on dear friends, let us journey together by faith today. God bless you!