Like any good, Minnesotan farmer's wife, I try to garden. The fact that I do this, and actually enjoy this, is a surprise to anyone who knew me growing up. After all, I once had the nickname of "Prissy Krissy."
But because I like to eat, and because I like to try to eat healthfully, I plant a garden. Plus, my hubby drinks salsa by the gallon, so I like to grow my own produce to make my own salsa, extra hot, just how he likes it.
Last year, I got a little lazy as the garden growing season came to an end. I had some squash plants at one end of my garden. If you've seen a pumpkin patch, then you know what squash plants look like. They spread out like vines taking up a lot of room. It is hard to control the weeds around the squash plants because the vines grow plentifully, and they are kind of pokey. So, needless to say, I did not spend a lot of time pulling the weeds in the midst of my squash plants.
Now, a year later, I have a big problem. I have crab grass all over my garden. You see, as my farmer husband told me, I let the grass weeds go to seed last fall, and now they are growing, well, like weeds!
This morning, while I was hoeing and pulling weeds to rescue my broccoli plants, I wondered, why are there weeds? I could get theological and trace the weeds all the way back to the Garden of Eden and the fall of man, but I won't. They are here so we must deal with them.
They existed in Jesus' time too, for He told many parables concerning crops and weeds. Here is one such parable. Jesus said...
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew.
I like what the farmer exclaimed, "An enemy has done this!" Sounds like me in my garden this morning...
Anyway, when Jesus told a parable, or "a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson," (from Google Dictionary) He used common situations to teach spiritual truths. The parable above is no different.
The seeds that are planted represent the truth of God. It could be from God's word, from Godly people, or from direct revelation from God. For, after all, God speaks to us in many ways.
But then, just like in the parable, someone sneaks in and plants seeds of doubt (the weeds in the parable.) Notice the enemy arrived when the workers and the farmer were sleeping. This is not telling us that we should never sleep, but that we should always be alert and watch for the attacks of our enemy. In 1 Peter 5:8 we are implored to, "Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour."
We can learn a thing or two from farmers when it comes to weeds. First of all, my husband treats the soil for weeds before the crop even emerges. Our hearts need to be ready to receive truth so we can recognize truth from God from the lies of our enemy.
Secondly, farmers walk their fields, a lot. They are always on the lookout for weeds or other pests that can harm their crops. This is the part about staying alert. We must recognize lies and attacks from the enemy so we can get rid of them when they come. We cannot get lazy, like I did last fall, and let lies creep in. It only takes a short time before we are overrun by weeds and then find it hard to recognize the good crops.
Last, farmers maintain their fields. They handle the weeds if they come. They do not let them grow, because weeds, like lies, are really good at spreading. We must continually build our storehouse of God's promises. We need to keep the truth coming in, filling our hearts and minds. Our minds do not handle a void well. Ever tried to just think about nothing? It is virtually impossible. Even when we sleep our minds are dreaming and processing information that they gathered that day. If we don't purposefully fill our minds with truth, they will be ready for weeds to move in.
How do we recognize God's truth over Satan's lies? Here are some ways that I have learned along the way...
-Test any word against The Word. Search the Bible and see what it has to say about a topic. For example, if you are feeling ugly and unloved, you know that is a lie from the enemy. Ephesians 2:10 says, "You are God's masterpiece. He has created you anew in Christ Jesus."
-God's voice is calm; Satan promotes chaos. God speaks in a manner that is peaceful and calm. If you are feeling nervous, frantic, or chaotic, it is not from God. God's voice is like a gentle whisper. (Read 1 Kings 19:11-13).
So, my friends, stay alert and watch for weeds. I have to go now and tend to my garden...
Earlier this month we were testing out some mattresses in our home, getting them ready for company. My daughter hopped on a bed and demonstrated her sleeping position.
"This is how I sleep," she said laying on her side with her knees curled in. "Just like a koala holding onto a branch!"
My hubby and I cracked up as we watched her pretend to sleep, cuddling her blanket as if it was the branch of a tree. Later, when we were reliving her funny comment, my hubby said to me, "She is definitely a unique individual." (This is something he says at least twice a week! But it's true!)
Obviously this story stuck with me because I'm writing about it now. But, I was thinking, what do I cling to like "a koala on a branch"? Or what should I cling to like that?
Well, koalas only eat the leaves of eucalyptus trees, so they spend most of their life clinging to those trees. They need the trees for food and shelter and a place to rest. (I googled koalas! Thanks, National Geographic for Kids!)
With this in mind, I immediately thought of my theme verse of the year.
"Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.
I used a thesaurus and looked up the verb remain. Other words or phrases included "hang about," "stay on," "linger," "hang around," and "stay put." Don't those words describe the life of a koala? They linger all day on the branches of the eucalyptus trees. The hang around them and stay on them most of their days.
These verses remind me what I should remain in. Jesus. I should feed myself with His words and His truth. I should be picky about what I use to fill me. Koalas eat only eucalyptus leaves. I should only be satisfied and fulfilled by God.
Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible in the longest book of the Bible. It is full of verses that point out the value and necessity of God's word. If you have time, you should read it all for yourself. But here are a few of my favorites concerning God's word, our source of guidance, life, strength, and truth.
Psalm 119:27 - "Help me understand the meaning of your commandments, and I will meditate on your wonderful deeds."
Psalm 119:32 - "I will pursue your commands, for you expand my understanding."
Psalm 119:43 - "Do not snatch your word of truth from me, for your regulations are my only hope."
Psalm 119:59 - "I pondered the direction of my life, and I turned to follow your laws."
Psalm 119:73 - "You made me; you created me. Now give me the sense to follow your commands."
Psalm 119:89-90 - "Your eternal word, O Lord, stands firm in heaven. Your faithfulness extends to every generation, as enduring as the earth you created."
One more! I could list so many!
Psalm 119:105 - "Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path."
Make like a koala on a branch...Cling to God's word!
Hi, I'm Kristen! Just a girl who loves all things Jesus, family, music and food!
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