Encouragement and FaithPurpose and Faith

In his retirement, my Dad had a beautiful vegetable garden. I’m talking about a magazine-picture-perfect kind. It didn’t get that way from merely planting, fertilizing, and watering his cherished plants. Not on your life.

Nearly every morning, even before breakfast, my Dad rushed out to his garden and examined every inch for any tiny weed that might have tried to creep in during the night. Then, like a mother protecting her children, he plucked out those annoying, nutrient-consuming, future enemies of his babies.

In his famous “I am the Vine and my Father is the Gardener” story (John 15), Jesus reminded us that his Spirit lives in us. He comforted his disciples and us by saying that the Master Gardener is at home working and playing alongside us in the gardens of our hearts. And where he is, there is peace, love, joy and a whole list of other fruits.

Jesus also reminded us that there are also weeds—those worrisome, never-ending, little critters—pride, anxiety, selfishness, fear, worry, and discontentment—that will constantly be trying to take over

The best way to protect your heart from allowing those frustrating and potentially dangerous garden-enemies to weaken and even destroy the garden of your heart is to stay ahead of them. You win the battle between the bad weeds and good veggies by dealing with them while they’re still tiny and only planning their take over.

During your morning devotional, take a little time to examine your heart in the light of God’s presence, light, and truth. Let God’s Spirit reveal which weeds are raising their ugly heads in your garden. Talk to the Master Gardener about your weeds. But spend most of your time working alongside him and doing the good work of the garden in caring for his children.

And, guess what? Those bothersome weeds won’t be so bothersome anymore.