Let The Weeds Do Their Work
October 15, 2018
Verse for the Week: Romans 15:4; “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.”
Beautiful gardens don’t grow naturally, weeds do. With their wild tenacity to sprout and spread, weeds are fierce; on point to destroy that which has the potential to be beautiful.
Weeds get a bad rap. Mostly because the press is true—they are the worst, aren’t they? Every growing season I battle them with annoyed angst. I’m sure you can appreciate my pain because I’ve yet to find anyone that likes to see weeds growing in their grass, gardens, or flower beds.
Even so, I think it’s time for weeds do a little role reversal because they have the power to teach us something vital if we are willing to learn.
In agriculture, we see them as weeds. In life, we see them as troubles.
Throughout the Gospels we see how the enemy plants weeds as arguments or pretensions that set themselves up against the knowledge of God, using them as tools of mass destruction in the lives of believers. God’s response—don’t deny them, deal with them (2 Corinthians 10:5).
In fact, this concept of tending to trouble was a precedent given in the Old Testament that the Israelites knew well. They had traveled through the wilderness and into the land of promise while struggling to learn this very lesson.
Numbers 33:55 is a call to action; a command for the Israelites to deal with the destructive people in their land: “But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land, those you allow to remain will become barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land where you will live.”
This earnest admonition given to the Israelites had a very specific instruction—deal with the trouble in your midst. If you don’t, what remains will cripple and cause pain. They had a choice—let trouble govern their story, or let trouble teach them lessons useful for a lifetime.
Although this a physical dictate, don’t miss the mental implication here as well.
Our mental terrain is vulnerable if left unattended. It is paramount to identify the weeds growing wild in our lives because in as much as the soil beneath our feet will always contain weed seeds, so too does the soil of our lives, especially the soil of our minds.
Weeds pop up unexpectedly as debilitating thoughts. They run rogue within the context of our relationships. And they choke out the joy of a life once lived with power and purpose.
For me, the present season of life continues to stretch my capacity for trouble. My natural bent is to ignore trouble in hopes that it will spontaneously disappear. Sometimes I get away with that tactic, but more often I don’t. When this happens, I am forced to choose between failure and freedom. Pain and purpose. Being beaten or being blessed (James 1:25).
Our challenge this week is learning how to let the weeds do their work.
What is the work of the weed then? Is it to harm? Destroy? Hinder? Yes, that would be the work of the weed if left unattended. But like all things spiritual, God has a better way. He wants to reverse what was meant for harm and instead, use it to teach us and to grow us for greater kingdom impact.
You can typically identify a weed by the emotion it produces. A few obvious ones include anger, jealousy, and fear. More ambiguous weeds might present as spiritual apathy, listlessness for things that used to bring joy, or perhaps a frustration in a relationship.
A good question to ask God when a weed pops up is—what do You want to teach me?
And herein lies the struggle—when we allow trouble to teach, it not only stops us in our tracks and demands to be acknowledged, but it strips away pretense and challenges us to take a good look at what’s left.
God calls us to live by the Spirit, to be transformed and made new (Romans 12:2). By engaging in this process, we move beyond the negative emotion to a deeper conviction. Typically, it’s the conviction of something in us God would like to change.
The reality is—we will never entirely eradicate weeds from the soil of the earth or the soil of our lives. Therefore, we are commissioned to tend and toil the gardens of our hearts, our minds, and our lives on a continual basis.
We have, hidden within the soil of our souls, seeds of life and seeds of death. God wants to teach us how to tend to the seeds and toil the weeds. He wants us to cultivate a great testimony despite the trouble we face.
We have a choice. But we must be willing to see the teachers in the trouble and allow them to do their work.
Lord God, continue to equip me to manage the troubles of this season. Help me to learn the lessons I need to know so I can finish strong. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
Can you identify the weeds growing wild in this season of your life? What can you learn from them?
Hugs for a great week and remember, you are not alone. Be blessed, be teachable, and learn how to trade your troubles for a beautiful testimony.