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Ah, spring! New growth, youth, invigoration, and ... weeds. Weeds? Well, yes. Do you have any weeds that threaten to impede your own growth?

Recently, I've spent some time preparing our lawn for the lush growth season of springtime. Although it might be easier to simply get some chemical that would quickly and easily "do the trick" … for some reason, I prefer the good old-fashioned "weeding" route. Some weeds are very good about popping their heads up the minute spring arrives, setting seed ASAP, and sending out their seeds before they can be yanked from the ground. Even if a chemical kills the "parent" weed, there are hundreds more in its place once those seeds germinate…

Having not been quite as "diligent" in pulling up those weeds last year, this year's "crop" was quite abundant. As the yard began to green up, these weeds stuck their heads up higher than the grass, as they had their first "bloom".

So I found myself out there doing the wonderfully mundane task of pulling each lovely little "misplaced wild-flower" out by the roots. During this "thrilling" task :), I was also spending some time praying, asking the Lord to "speak" to my heart that day, as only He knows how to do (since I personally was sensing a "need" for His touch that day).

Although these little flowers are likely quite pretty growing in some field somewhere as wild-flowers (these particular ones are really nothing to "write home about", believe me); they are quite "misplaced" growing rampantly through our yard … and they are certainly not helping to make that lawn what it is meant to be. The expanse of little white flowers seemed to stretch endlessly before me, as I took the time to painstakingly pull each one out by the roots. If they were simply chopped off at the top, they would easily grow back in no time to raise another harvest. After digging up hundreds of such plants by the roots, with so many yet to go, there was a sudden "aha" moment, as it became clear in a new "light".

It was so much like "life". How often are there things in our lives that are "seemingly benign", or even downright damaging ... hindrances that impede our growth? They might be "OK" in one context, but they don't make our lives "better", and they certainly don't belong "front and center". Often, they distract us from the "best" that God desires in our lives. You could call it "sin", or simply "distraction". Whatever you call it, these "habits" and "mindsets", sometimes "grow like weeds". We are often content to let them be, or too "lazy" to do anything to change matters; we do nothing to stop them, and they somehow tend to "multiply".

Is Jesus perhaps a "Gardener" in our lives, desiring to make us flourish beautifully and abundantly? Are there perhaps "weeds" that are poised to spread their seed rampantly through our lives if untended? Is He ready to painstakingly and lovingly take the time to pull each one out by the roots? Is He ready to dig down deep, get to the heart of the matter, and stop them from continuing to do damage within us? Is He willing to do that difficult work, because He will delight when He sees us flourishing; because the "good seed" He's planted in us now has the room to grow and become all it was meant to be?

How about your life? Are there any "weeds" that may have seemed like "wild flowers" at one point, but have gotten "out of control", spreading themselves relentlessly and trying to "take over"? Are aggressive "weedy" plants crowding out the "good seed" that was planted in your heart? Do they need to be removed, so that the "better" seed can take deeper root within you and flourish?

If so, I know of a very faithful Gardener, Whom I have found to be very patient and kind as He painstakingly digs out each and every one in my life. I pray that you will allow Him to turn His gaze upon your life, stoop down to your level and begin to do His wonderful work in your life; so that He can stand back in the end, and smile as He sees you flourish into all that He desires.

Some people wonder why Mary mistook Jesus for the "gardener" in John 20: 15. To this day, He still seems to appear that way, at least from the perspective of this little gardener as she follows in His footsteps. I pray that He would surprise you today; as He shows up, ready to do a "good work" in you.

May 3, 2007

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