This spring we planted a new garden with different trees and bushes, colours and shades, fragrances and tastes. What beauty and diversity our God has created! It’s utterly amazing, and spring shows so much of God’s resurrection life.
One day I was working and planting in the garden, and a warm feeling came over me. I asked God what I was experiencing, and I was drawn to the creation account of the Garden of Eden. We read how God entrusted the whole of creation to mankind to take care of. We don’t read anything about houses. There was ‘only’ a garden, and its beauty must have been breath-taking, the very home of mankind. Man was called to be a gardener in the midst of that place of delight, and near to his creator. Nature still reflects so much of our creator’s beauty and magnificence today; our true home.
Over the last couple of months, we’ve claimed the outside landscaping area around our home. It’s experimental gardening, to find out what grows best where and when. We sowed a lawn with small herbs and wild flower seeds mixed in. After some time of eager waiting we started to admire all the beautiful flowers, and we marvelled at how lush and tall everything was growing. But with gardening we also have to face a challenge of a different kind: weeding! The moment you make the ground fertile for the plants you’ve chosen to plant, the more you have to deal with an influx of a multitude of invaders who seek to take over everything. The longer you wait and watch, the more difficult it is to get rid of them, because they become firmly established. If you capture them at an early stage, it’s much easier and quicker.
Some weeds have shallow root systems and are easy to pull out; it takes little effort to uproot them. Others are stubborn and strong, because their roots have grown deep, and it takes a real effort to remove them. Yet others show just a little bit of greenery above the surface of the soil, but their root system is extensive and complex. You begin to pull the weed up and it keeps coming and coming, and you keep pulling and pulling. Before you know it, you’ve followed its path a couple of feet. Some weeds are sneaky and like to hide. You have to prune or cut away parts of shrubs, bushes or plants to get at them. Some of them look like a flower, act like a flower, are mistaken for a flower, but are in fact weeds.
Sins in our hearts are like weeds in the garden. When we don’t keep them in check, they get out of control, and swamp all the beautiful and useful plants. Constant maintenance and care ensures that the soil of a garden doesn’t get overgrown with weeds. Do you know what you have to do in order to grow weeds? Absolutely nothing. They pop up here, there and everywhere.
So here’s a question for reflection and prayer: “What is the current condition of the soil of my heart?”
Prayer: Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts and see if any wicked way is in me; and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24).
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