Friday, March 4, 2011

Learning the art of gardening

Now that I have an actual backyard with grass and dirt and such, I have decided to learn the art of gardening.
Thus far this has included hours of pulling weeds. I find myself comparing weeds to life lessons.
More specifically sins or unhealthy things/people in one's life.
Some weeds are fairly simple to pull out. The ground around it gives way and it comes out, root and all. While other weeds are not quite ready. You can pull the leaves off of the weed but the root or the core of the weed won't budge. It is in there, set and not moving. Such weeds typically have a thicker base and, try as I might, it won't come out.
Throughout my hours of weeding I've had time to reflect and wonder if God feels the frustration as I do. Here I am trying to clear the dirt of these nasty weeds that would eventually threaten the life of my future vegetables and/or flowers that I hope to plant, yet some won't come out.
It isn't as simple as pulling out the green part/leaves - the part that appears on the surface of the ground and then saying "There! I can plant my seeds now!"
If I were to do that, the weeds would grow up right alongside and choke out my beautiful seeds.
Instead I have to learn patience - a LOT of patience - and go back with weed killer and try to kill the roots and pull them out, which takes time, before the ground will be ready and fertile for planting.
Whew! How often we just want to scurry to the end of our journey with God and "be all fixed up and perfect". But isn't God like a gardener who patiently pulls out the weeds in our lives?
I recall when I first surrendered my life to Jesus and God had quite the work cut out for Him! First he cleaned up my potty mouth, the inappropriate clothes I wore, the friends that were bad influences, the music with swear words, etc... and now it's pretty safe to say that, for someone looking at me from the outside, I look like a pretty clean, good Christian girl.
But over time and after those weeds were pulled God has the more difficult and frustrating weeds to work on - those of jealousy, resentment, judgmental thoughts, pride, gossip, etc. which are so much more deeply rooted and not budging. It takes time and me allowing God to soften up the dirt around those weeds so that eventually I can be purged of them.

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