The air is crisp and clean this morning after an overnight rain. As I look out at our garden the signs of new growth are everywhere. The corn seems to stretch itself out every time I go out to look. Ripening strawberries are in abundance and already I sample their delicious flavour. My small tomatoes that I started and didn’t envision doing much, are now thriving and growing by leaps and bounds daily. Fruit bushes and trees teem with green fruit and the promise of much delectable eating to come.
But with the plentiful rain and excellent growing conditions comes another challenge – the weeds. I don’t expect to garden without these pests, but somedays I wonder if I will ever win the battle. Stinging nettle is prevalent in our garden – a new weed for me to deal with. Nettle is a weed with long roots and tilling it, while cleaning up the garden temporarily, just compounds the problem. I oscillate from patiently pulling them out one by one to just taking the hoe and whacking them so at least they don’t get larger and go to seed. What frustrates me is that I can hoe these nettle in the morning and by late day more have appeared. I wonder if I will ever see the last of them.
My Christian walk is a lot like my garden. The fertile soil of my life is a perfect resting place for both good crops and bad weeds. Often I let those little weeds in my life thinking that they won’t make much difference – after all, it’s just a little thing I try to tell myself. But like my nettle, if I don’t take the time to pluck them out, the scourge just continues and causes havoc with the good that is growing.
I won’t win the nettle wars on my own. Our garden is large and it takes the concerted effort of both my husband and myself to keep the growing conditions optimal and the weeds at bay. Similarly, I cannot win the war again sin on my own. Without God’s saving grace through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, I am lost. Thankfully Jesus paid the price for my sin and daily the Holy Spirit is there to help me as I face the weeds in my life.
Our life here will never be weed or sin free. Thankfully I can daily go to the cross and ask for forgiveness and journey on with God to guide me. Hopefully, just as I am learning more productive tactics to deal with my nettles, I am also growing and learning in Christ and gaining new strength from regular study of God’s Word and participating in my local body of believers.
How is your garden of life growing today? How do you handle “weed” control in the tough areas of life?