My mother was a wonderful gardener. Our property was gorgeous in every season, with bushes and perennials in full bloom from early spring until late fall. My sister carries on the gardening tradition, and her flower beds seem to burst into color with every change of season. They provide nesting and resting places for beautiful butterflies, and her bird feeders attract songbirds all year long.
Somehow the gardening gene seems to have escaped my genetic code. The most prevalent things in my flower beds are usually weeds. I have planted some lovely perennials, and sometimes they actually bloom. I can water and feed the plants, and pull weeds until my hands ache and my fingers crack, but with every rainfall the weeds are right back, taller and more abundant than the week before. They have no vision for the beauty the garden could offer. They follow no plan, but take root in the smallest sidewalk cracks and take over any tiny spot of soil they can find.
While I’m pulling weeds, I’m often reminded of some of the things Jesus said about gardens:
- He reminds us that He provides for all our needs. The lilies of the field don’t do any work, but God clothes them in gorgeous colors that rival the splendid robes of kings (Matthew 6:28-30).
- Jesus reminds us that He is a vine, and we are branches (John 15:5-6). In order to survive, we need to be connected to Him, or we wither like branches that become separated from their source of life.
- In a parable about weeds (Matthew 13:24-30 and 37-43), Jesus tells us the Devil sows weeds of evil in God’s Kingdom. At the end of the world, Jesus’ angels will pull up the weeds – everything that causes sin and those who do evil — and cast them into a fiery furnace. What judgment awaits the weeds!
Someday I won’t have to worry about any more weeds. Jesus will take care of those. But for now, I continue to pull them up and pray the beauty of the flowers remaining can be seen. And that reminds me to live more like a flower than a weed.
Carol C. and her husband have been married for nearly 50 years. She is a proud mother and grandmother, as well as a teacher and author. You can read more from Carol and our other bloggers here. You can also listen to our Bible studies by tuning in to your favorite radio station, listening to our podcast on iTunes, or listening through TuneIn or Stitcher online radio.