Friday, June 30, 2006


I've just come in from the garden. For the most part, my vegetables are doing great. My tomatoes are growing like weeds (and in fact, I just discovered that one of my staked "tomatoes" IS a weed). I sent my husband out to buy tomato starts earlier in the season and he went to a local nursery famous for their prized tomatoes. I decided to try a new variety called an Amish paste tomato. I thought it looked a little strange and after a couple weeks, I noticed that it appeared vaguely familiar. In fact, it's not an Amish paste tomato, but what I call a "false tomato." These spring up all over my garden every summer. Perhaps it was an honest mistake by the nursery, but I feel a little cheated.....

Anyhow, back to the garden. I just spent an hour weeding my four small raised beds, knowing that in another week they will have sprouted many new weeds. Try as you may, you can't keep your garden weed-free. So, I've come to see weeds in a new light. You just have to take care of them. It's part of being a gardener. It makes me realize why Jesus spoke in parables and used the illustration of weeds as hindrances to the growth of seedlings. If weeds aren't taken care of, they would choke out all my plants. Just as our sins and wordly desires, if left unconfessed and unchecked, will choke us out, wear us down, make us weary and heavy-laden. How great that God is that gardener who carefully removes the weeds, who reminds us of our sins and brings us to repentance. He pulls out the weeds for us. And yet, being in a fallen world they grow back. Our sins and sinful desires never go away. We will never reach a place in life where we don't sin. We can try and try and strive with all our might to make the weeds go away, but God must take care of them for us. We must ask him to pluck them out and ask his forgiveness for their presence.

I also thought of the weeds in another light....childrearing. My son Aidan, who's 3 now, is like a tender plant. He needs nourishment (both physically and spiritually) from my husband and I. He has many weeds that are making themselves seen these days--he talks back to us, challenges us, disobeys us, lies, and throws fits when things don't go his way. Don't get me wrong, most of the time, he's a great kid. But, he needs us to come and show him the weeds; to show him how wicked they are and what a mess they can make of his heart if they aren't plucked out. He needs to know that disobedience is sin and must be punished; that repentance is what God desires. We must teach him how to recognize the weeds as he grows, so that in time he can discern for himself what is good and perfect and pleasing in God's sight. What a job we have as parents.

To close, I just want to say that I'm thankful for my garden and the lessons I learn there daily. I'm thankful for the nourishment and enjoyment that our fruits and vegetables provide. Although I wish my garden could be ten times the size it is, I enjoy the little space I have to watch things grow.




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