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Lesson from the garden: Weeds

August 7, 2009


I haven’t spent as much time as I’d like to (or need to) in the garden this season. Busy, busy. Even in the busy season, though, God still speaks through the veggie patch.

When I do get time to visit the veggies, it’s to harvest. For all the work that goes into a garden, I’m not about to let my peas, beans, okra, etc. go bad on the vine. I can get out there to harvest; weeding takes more time and I haven’t pulled weeds in a long time.

But the veggies are still doing okay.

I spent a few minutes yesterday digging for beans and cucumbers, and couldn’t help but notice that some of the bare patches of dirt (where the carrots refused to grow again) are completely over-run with weeds. As I dug through leaves I noticed that there were smaller weeds in and around the good plants too, but it certainly hadn’t slowed production. Despite that fact that I haven’t weeded in over a month, we still can’t eat green beans fast enough.

Because now the veggie plants are big and strong enough that they don’t need me to pull out every little weed.

They’re bigger than most of the weeds, which means the little weeds that months ago were seriously contending for sun and soil, aren’t really a threat. They’re inconvenient, they’re ugly, and they’re probably making life for the veggies a little harder, but I’m confident in the strength of the veggies to overcome them – so I don’t prioritize weeding anymore.

And Holy Spirit spoke. “Neither do I.”

I’ve been learning so much lately – specifically regarding intercession, but so much of it applies to life in the Spirit in general. The biggest lesson, that’s resounding in so many books and teachings in so many ways, is that the life of faith looks to God more than the enemy.

In prayer, in worship, in everything, we don’t need to focus on the devil, or the circumstances, or the darkness, and attack it. Effective intercession, and healing worship, begins with turning to God first. We don’t need to bind and loose and rebuke as much as we do sometimes. We don’t need to yell and get ourselves worked up. We need to draw near to God.

The green beans get it. They don’t shrivel in the presence of little weeds. They don’t use those little viney things to choke them out. In fact, they hardly suffer for them at all. They keep pushing down roots, keep soaking up water, and keep spreading leaves up toward the sun, and the weeds – who cares about the weeds?

Of course the weeds are relentless. They won’t get discouraged and quit. They’ll keep growing, but the trick is for the veggies to keep growing too. If the green beans get comfortable, or arrogant in their height over the weeds, and quit pushing they will be overcome by the weeds.

And the beans know this, so they stretch for more – more moisture, more soil, more sunlight. If one or two of the weeds get out of control, too big for the veggies around it, I’ll step in and pull it out for them. But the beans aren’t worried about it. They just keep growing.

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