In the Weeds
I had one job to do. One JOB!
My husband, Steve, asked me to take care of the weeds in our flower beds once a week by spraying them with weed killer. I even went to Ace and bought the spray with this really cool wand and cone at the end so you can target just the weed and not kill your plants.
I think I bought the weed killer back in June and used it once. It's August 9th today and wow the weeds have grown like crazy this summer. I failed at keeping up with tending the garden and knew I had to get up early on my day off and take care it.
As I was working in the front yard, I kept thinking of how these weeds related to areas of my life that I have also neglected. Physically, emotionally and spiritually we all have to maintain a healthy balance. If we don't, we can get overwhelmed, unhealthy, stressed, and just plain burned out!
When I was a waitress at Cracker Barrell for a year, I remember a term we used when we were overwhelmed with too many tables at one time, we would say, "I'm in the weeds." It was a cry for help. The best part about working for CB was the teamwork that helped everyone stay on top of their game so that customers would never be neglected. We would deliver food for other waitresses as soon as the food was up, we would refill drinks for any tables on our way to and from the kitchen, and clear plates as we noticed them so that we were always carrying something into the kitchen. There was no reason to be empty handed. Our CB team worked smart and hard and we had fun doing it! Customers were happy and tips were equally great for everyone.
I took a month off from exercising and started losing my muscle definition fast. This reminded me to get back to a routine in order to keep my muscles and bones strong. The same for our faith walk. If we maintain some daily discipline like prayer, journalling, reading the Bible, etc, we will keep our faith muscle strong and ready for every good work God has for us to do.
When I was pulling out these really hard weeds with deep, deep roots, I thought about how deep rooted issues can cause us to continually struggle with temptations or strongholds. When we keep going around the same old mountain again and again, it's time to look beyond the behavior and see what the root cause of it is.
Roots are usually lies we have believed about ourselves based on something that happened to us or something that was said to us or something we internalized all on our own. When we become aware of a root lie, what do we do with it? We should compare with what the Truth from God's Word says.
Just like weeds entangled my plants so our sin can entangle and hinder us from running the race God has marked for us. It says in Hebrews 12:1, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,"
In order to breakthrough the strongholds that hinder us, and tend to the garden of our heart, we must renew our minds daily according to Romans 12;2, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."
The wisest man, King Solomon, wrote in Proverbs 24:30-34, "I went past the field of a sluggard, past the vineyard of someone who has no sense; thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins. I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw: A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man."
Poverty can mean more than just financial poverty. Being poor in spirit or relationally poor can be just as devastating in our lives. Are there any areas in your life that are lacking? Are you thriving and moving on all cylinders? Are there any weeds that need attention on a daily or weekly basis in areas of your life?
Let me close with this encouraging reminder from John 15:1;5, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the Gardener. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." We don't have to tend to the garden of our heart without the help of God himself, our Gardner!