My husband and I are stewards of a little slice of awesomeness we call Manna Homestead. So, I guess technically, we are homesteaders. But that is whole other post for another day. 🙂
There are a few (read several) places on our property where we are in a constant fight with nature. We want the areas to be orderly and contained. Nature wants them to be wild and unruly.
One of the spots is the flower bed in front of our house. And I do use the term flower bed loosely.
Last year, the lines between flower and weed were so blurred, we just tore everything out. And it was rewarding. I loved seeing the fresh dirt just waiting for its new inhabitants. How exciting. It was a fresh start for new, beautiful things to settle in and put down roots.
But life got in the way and nothing new and beautiful got planted in this space. Fast forward 3 seasons and we find this ‘flower bed’ is completely overrun with vines, weeds, and other craziness I cannot even identify. It’s like there was never anything ‘good’ in this space at all.
So these last several evenings, I have donned my work gloves and worked at trying to bring some semblance of order back to my ‘flower beds.’ It is tough work, but I like the reward of seeing the fresh soil void of weeds and vines, just waiting for another fresh start.
As I was tugging at some particularly stubborn vines, I felt God urging me to pay attention to the task at hand. As I really looked at this area overrun with weeds, vines and stickers, I was reminded that this area is an example of what can happen when we allow the world to take over our hearts. Those weeds, vines and stickers take root. They choke out all the good and overrun our hearts with ugly, prickly weeds. And our thoughts become dark. Our words become cutting. Our lives become games of comparison and discontent. And we find ourselves wondering why everything seems so off kilter. Why life has lost its meaning and our souls have lost their hope.
But God is able. And when we surrender our hearts to Him, and allow Him to mold us, shape us and change us, our hearts begin to resemble the fresh soil. Void of weeds and vines, just waiting for a fresh start. Full of hope for what God will do and full of peace because we can trust that He is faithful to complete the work He began in us.
“The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” Matthew 13:22-23
Father God, weed out our hearts. Take away the vines and prickly things. Replace them with Your peace, Your love, and Your hope. Let Your Truth take root and yield beauty. Help us look to You to fill us and complete us, and not the things of this world that will only leave us wanting. You alone are God and You are worthy of our praise. We love You. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.