Gardens and good things

While at home this summer, I have been helping my mom and my grandma with a little yard work. Namely, pulling weeds. Perhaps it’s strange, but I actually enjoy pulling weeds. There’s something especially satisfying when you feel the deepest parts of the roots being torn from the dirt, extinguishing the likelihood for that same weed to grow back in its place.

Though it’s a goal of mine to be a great gardener one day, as for the time being, I have been given no skill in the realm of growing things. But the small amount of yard work that I’ve been doing has been teaching me about the bigger moments in life.

Weeds make a garden look pretty unsightly. Though we wish it weren’t true, they’re an inevitable evil to nearly any garden you find, no matter how well kept and beautiful… Much the same to each of our lives. Don’t we all have unsightly things about us, in our hearts, that taint our personal lives, or gardens, that are so unique to us?

I most certainly do. What I’ve been thinking about the most as I dig and pull and imagine my work when it’s all done, is the reality that God does the same thing in our lives. He is the ultimate Gardener, one who works endlessly to beautify and purify his people by pulling the weeds out of their lives.

It’s such a tedious task, but how encouraging to know that God does not tire and does not give up when it comes to shaping us in such ways. Some of those weeds I’ve pulled up in the last few days were very easy to come out of the ground; some, incredibly, were at least half my height; and others I had to wrestle with until I could successfully extract the root that clung so tightly to the earth beneath it. The weeds all looked different, as do the sins we have in our own lives that threaten to tatter the precious hearts we’ve been given. But what kept me persevering in my amateur gardening was the imagined picture of what it would look like when I finished. I was motivated by how great the yard would look when all was said and done; I believe God sees the same. He knows how lovely we will be when we uproot the harmful things about ourselves that aren’t life-giving to us. It takes patience and a willingness to get dirty, but the product of such life and beauty in the end is worth it.

One last thing. It’s a daily work. I did not clear up those gardens in a day’s job. It took several weeks, and I had to be patient when I left for the day knowing that there was still more to be done; we should allow God to consistently do this work in our lives, knowing that there will always be something that needs to be extracted so we can be more like him. Imagine the most picturesque garden you’ve ever seen; how likely was this completed in a day’s work? Have patience, and don’t be discouraged by the work still to be done. After all, whether you’ve been gifted with a green thumb or not, it will not matter because the One who created the rich beauty of gardens in the first place is the One who can tend to your life.

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