Weeding in the Garden

It's Weigh In Wednesday!  Start Weight: 266 Last Week: 256 Today: 256  = NO Change
Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches. (Matthew 13:31-32)
Today my husband and I were weeding our “flowerbed.”  I put that in quotations because there is not a flower in there, just bushes, but the grass had grown between the bushes in the mulch.  I am not much of a gardener; not very domestic when it comes to most things (I’m only good at cooking and doing laundry).  So I don’t grow flowers in my bed because I know that I will not take care of them.
So we were pulling the “weeds” – that is grass – from the flowerbed, when I stuck my hand right into a bunch of thorny stickers – it was a juniper bush hidden by the grass.  It was smaller than all our other junipers, because the grass that surrounded it was choking it from receiving the light and nutrients that it needs to grow.
It got me thinking about my spiritual growth, and this particular “kingdom of heaven” parable.  We are all small in the Lord when we first become saved, but we are expected to grow.  Not just a little bit, but a lot.  We are to become “trees” of faith.  So that even those that are unsaved can feel they want to be around us and nest in our branches.   But in order to grow that way, we need to weed the flowerbed of everything else.
Just like in my house flowerbed the most prevalent weed is grass; in our lives the weeds are likely to be something just as prolific.  It will be the stuff that surrounds everyone else’s lives and seems wanted – nurtured even – but in the life of the Christian, it stunts growth.  What is a weed in my life that needs plucking?  What stunts my growth?
If I consider for a moment those things that keep me from reading scriptures, praising my God, and spending time with Him in prayer (that personal trinity again) then I have to think of those things as my weeds.  Again these can be good things.  First of all – how much time do I spend reading things other than scripture?  Watching TV? Gossiping with my friends instead of talking to my God?  Is my radio tuned into praise, or news radio?  Again, good things when in moderation, but are they choking my growth?
What am I flooding my flowerbed with?  Are these the things that take away from my time and energy so that I have nothing left for God?  When I look at a week like the one I’ve had between these two weigh-in Wednesdays I have to think that it’s time to weed my garden.
Someone recently had told me that I was pushing an “easy” faith because I push God’s grace as being above the Law.  But I ask you – is weeding the garden easy?  When we were done weeding our flowerbeds, I was dripping with sweat.  The muscles in my legs felt like jello and I could hardly make it up the stairs of my porch.  My shoulders ached.  It was a hard 30 minute work-out.  I pushed myself beyond when I was tired and wanted to quit.
And yet, it wasn’t TOO hard for me.  I don’t think I was on the verge of a heart attack.  The problem with our society is that we have lost our work ethic.  All work is considered too hard, and the feeling of accomplishment gained from working has been lost.  Working toward accomplishment is what the life in Jesus is about.
Therefore my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:12-13)
I am not supposed to sit in my recliner with a box of donuts and say to myself “yeah, I’m saved, it makes no difference now how I live.  But neither am I to be on the treadmill 4 hours/day, starving myself because someone told me that I should (like those “biggest losers”).
I am to work out my own salvation by the grace of God who gives me the WILL to do it.  This means that first: I listen to no one but God in how I should live.  Second, I tell no one else how they should live, because that is between them and God.  Third, I listen to God, I mean really listen and do what He tells me to do, because He will then give me the power to do it.
So here I am working on the weeds in my flowerbed, cutting back on the things that are unnecessary so that I have the Godly nutrients necessary to become that tree that I know He wants me to be.  And though this week may not have been a big success as far as the scale is concerned, God has used it to wake me up to the weeding my life needs to become that big success, that tree. 
And that makes me thankful, and reminds me why I love being His.

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