I've been noticing weeds this week. My daughter Allison and I have been taking long walks almost every morning lately. After a few walks I finally noticed these pretty plants blooming in someone's yard.
They were so bright and red...and there was a whole row of them. However, I also noticed one poor plant that didn't look like the others.
This one had a little clump of blooms, but it seemed that most of the plant had been choked out by the grass and weeds that had grown around it. I thought it was interesting and took some pictures with my phone because my sanctified imagination was already making some comparisons with how we think.
I've been studying the Bible with a group of ladies on Monday nights using the book The Search For Significance by Robert S. McGee. This past week we talked about ways that Satan deceives us and tried to start recognizing the lies that he tells us. He tells us things like: "You're not good enough," "You're too fat," "Noone likes you," "You're such a failure!" "________" (fill in the blank with whatever lies he tells you)
As I think about those lies and the weeds I saw, I think there's a strong link between the two. When we believe Satan's lies, we let them grow in our heads and our hearts and they choke out whatever emotional or spiritual growth we hope to see.
Oh, we might see some good things in our lives, like the plant above with its little cluster of red blooms, but if we allow those "weedy" thoughts to take over, we miss out on the brilliant, beautiful display that we could be enjoying and sharing with those around us.
I thought even more about this concept when the mood finally struck me to weed my strawberry patch. I had been letting it go for weeks and weeks, but Gary still keeps bringing in a few berries every once in a while. We thought maybe we'd just let it go and mow over it since the grass and clover were really overtaking it. Here's a pic in case you think I'm exaggerating (and this is after I spent a little time pulling some of the weeds!).
As I grabbed at clumps of weeds and pulled them out, I wavered between feeling "This is hopeless" and "I think if I keep this up my strawberries will be able to grow!" It was hard to pull just the weeds, but I was encouraged as I saw lots of strawberry vines still going strong. I even saw quite a few berries growing down under the clover. I comforted myself with the fact that maybe I had saved some from getting eaten by the birds by letting the weeds grow like that. (I had to do something so I didn't feel quite so lazy, didn't I?) I plucked several that were nicely ripe and took them inside to enjoy later.
I'm going to spend some more time plucking the many weeds out of that patch and see if my plants produce a little more while they can. As I do, I'm going to think about the weeds I may be allowing to grow in my head and in my heart and I'm going to do my best to get rid of those, too.
With Satan's lies gone, my head and heart will be free to focus on God's truth instead. I can't wait to see what will bloom as a result.
"And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man [or woman] who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful." (from the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13 - New American Standard Bible, italics mine)
Are there any lies that are choking out God's truth in your mind or heart? How can focusing on God's truth get rid of those lies so that you can bloom in whatever ways God has planned for you?