I’ve just come in from weeding in the rain. Me and Jesus had quite the conversation so I thought I’d share some of His perspectives. It seemed at every turn God whispered lessons and thoughts, parallels and analogies. How good He is to take the most mundane task and turn it into a devotional time, which leads to His first whisper.
“I don’t want to do this. I’m tired,” I said.
“I know. C’mon, it’ll be fun. We’ll do it together, ” He said.
Together. Ah yes. He reminded me He is here with me. And my weeds. God reminded me of this download about worship. In short, when we do everything with our whole heart, when we do it for Him, it’s worship.
1) Worship is doing everything with Him and for Him.
“Got it. I’m not weeding, I’m worshiping. Here I go into the downpour,” I said, trying to sound cheerful.
Let me just say, I love walking in the rain. However. I did not want to pull weeds in the rain. So I debated whether the cool weather and soft soil would be worth the wetness. It was.
2) Sometimes the hardest step into the uncomfortable is the first step.
Once I got out there, it was actually enjoyable and the raindrops on my skin proved to be a mosquito repellent. Who knew? (Well, besides Jesus.)
3) Keep your garden watered.
The rain-soaked ground was so easy to work with. As I pulled up weeds and dug around my plants, the soil was pliable in my hands. The weeds literally pulled up out of the ground with minimal effort. I had gone out couple of weeks ago but the ground was so parched that the weeds only broke off in my hand.
The Lord continued.
“See Jana, you have good dirt. It just needed a little rain to soften it up. And now the weeds come up root and all,” He said. I pulled in silence for several minutes, but I was more and more aware of the all the weeds that had overtaken my garden. I kept thinking about His comment of pulling up the weeds up “root and all.” I kept noticing the how soft the soil was because of the soaking rain.
“Kind of like repentance,” He added.
4) Repentance is a beautiful softening agent just like the rain.
The two of us just marveled at the picture. The rain of the Holy Spirit softens our hearts so that when we see a weed, we recognize it, and move to pull it up, root and all. Then we are free from this harmful substance, issue, attitude. God’s heart for me was a weed-free garden. He had planted beauty, truth, wisdom, love. That’s what He was tending, but I had let the weeds take over. Repentance was like the the gift of the rain, so my sins could be quickly removed.
5) Neglect has serious consequences.
The weeds were out of control due to my neglect. I had passed on several opportunities to get ahead of them. I had lots of excuses. But that’s all they were. Excuses. And now you couldn’t even see the plants that were supposed to be there. I kept thinking how did this get so bad? I had procrastinated so long that the weeds had Seeded. So not only did I have the mother weeds to contend with they had reproduced other little baby weeds. Ugh.
Let the Holy Spirit show you the garden of your life. What areas have been neglected so long that the sins have begun to produce other little sins?
6) Do I know the difference between and plant and a weed?
When I first moved into this house, I was clueless about what lived here. So I let certain “plants” go. I didn’t recognize them but, just to be safe, I decided that I would just watch these “plants” and see what they looked like when they bloomed. I placed my good plants right next to these “wait and see” plants. Now a year later, I’m fighting the seedlings of this weeds. I am embarrassed to say I only know they are weeds because I had an expert come show me the difference between a weed and a plant. Today, it looked more like a healthy weed garden than a flower garden. I had to literally hold the real plant in one hand and pull the weed with the other. They were growing that close together. Selah.
“Oh Lord. Help me grow in wisdom,” I prayed. “I have let things go so much that I think the weeds belong here. Help me learn what is truly of You, and what needs to go.”
Two hours of listening, pulling, meditating, thanking, confessing, and praising was good for my garden and my heart. I was soaked to the bone, my back was killing me, I had two huge buckets of pulled weeds, and I’m not done. But oh my heart overflowed.
7) Move with the Lord, and keep at it.
I know I have a short window to finish this job. I must get the weeds up by the root while the dirt is still soft. And it is not a one time thing. I have to keep pulling up the counterfeits, protecting the real flowers, learning how to take care of this garden, and my heart. I need to get more wisdom, a stronger back, and tougher hands.
And all the while, I get to rejoice at the beauty of His creation. All the while, I get to worship, and listen, and be changed. All the while, He is right there with me. We’re doing this together.
May these words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Oh God, my Rock and Redeemer. Psalm 19:14