bah. I would post more if 1 or both of 2 things happened: 1) I could post from my phone directly onto blogger, or 2) I could email a note to myself and then cut and paste that here on my computer. I have things to say, but I'm not usually on the computer when I think of them! (my phone is another appendage, so I always have it with me.)
Anyway, this is something I'm thinking about talking about during an opening for Bible study in a couple of weeks. It's not perfect, but what I was thinking at the time.
It's no wonder that sin is compared to weeds. I was recently weeding the little plot in my backyard that is designated for my vegetable garden in preparation for planting. I haven't really done anything with it since the last tomato harvest in September. Man, do weeds grow quickly and take over everything! It took me over 2 hours to get all the weeds out, and I filled an entire wheelbarrow full.
So, how are weeds like sin? I'm glad you asked!
1) They can take over an area that was meant for something useful if we are not diligent in taking care of it.
2) Some weeds are easy to pull out. They're small and don't have much of a root system. Those are like the little things that get in the way of our daily walk with the Lord, but they're easy enough to notice and remove quickly to get back on track to having a clean space.
3) Some weeds need extra muscle power and even tools to get out. They have roots that are deep and wide reaching. These are the ones that are the sin we fall prey to on a regular basis- ones that are a major stumbling block in our lives. These need to be removed with tools- prayer, memorizing scripture for the times that temptation arises, fasting, accountability partners, and the like. Sometimes we are unable to get the whole root out, not matter how much we try. But, each time it comes up, with the right tool, and noticing it early, the weed is easier to pull out. If it comes back again, it's not as firmly rooted and is even easier to pull out. (Unless we ignore it and let it continue to grow.) Eventually, all the roots will be found, and the weed/sin will be gone for good. This is victory as a believer as well as a gardener!
4) The earlier they are detected, the smaller they are and the easier they are to remove.
5) Sometimes there are things in our garden that aren't necessarily weeds, but they aren't plants that belong in that space. Suppose you have a pretty ground cover nearby. It's great while it's contained, but if it gets into the garden, it will take over everything else and crowd out the things that were being grown there. Ground cover has a purpose where it is, but when it gets outside its domain, it is no longer a good plant. This is like the interests that aren't necessarily bad in our lives, but if they're not properly contained, they can take over. (I think specifically time wasters.) Or, they're pretty and nice, but in the wrong place, they're not what was intended. This is like when we try and move ahead of God and His will. The ground cover is great plant, but its place is not in a vegetable garden. So, even that nice, pretty plant needs to be removed.
6) After all that weeding is done, we need to make sure to cultivate the soil so the plants that are supposed to be there can flourish. They need special care, attention, and love. The soil needs to be mixed up with plant food (in our case, Bible study, regular church attendance, spending time with friends that encourage us closer to the Lord). It also needs to be ready. If not, you may miss the prime planting window. Things will still grow, but they may not be as fruitful as they would have been had the garden been tended to in the right time.
Think about it. Are there any areas of your life where you have things that are good, but out of place, that God might be asking you to remove? Any things that need to be contained? How about big weeds that can be made a little smaller this time? Or little weeds to rid of now so they don't become bigger and harder to remove? Will you allow Jesus to be your master gardener, telling you what needs to be planted and where? Tell you what might be planted in the wrong season or place? By constantly ridding our gardens of weeds and unnecessary plants, we allow room for optimal growth of nourishing, life-giving plants, ones that were meant to be there, picked especially for us, by Jesus. By constantly spending time with Him, we understand when the right time is to move and be part of what He is doing. We cultivate a heart of readiness to do what He wants, when He wants it. He wants to grown in each of us the perfect garden of talents and gifts meant to glorify Him.