The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. Matthew 13:22 (NIV)
I love to garden, and I look forward with great anticipation to the spring planting of my favorite annuals. Clearing out the winter muck and preparing the beds for planting, on the other hand, does not make the cut of my top ten favorite things to do.
As I left home this morning, I noticed that the leaves of my variegated liriope plants are seriously weathered from the harsh cold of winter, covered in brown spots, and in much need of a haircut. I tried to ignore the emerging weed sprouts and keep walking, but they too were calling my name, reminding me of Jesus' parable of the sower.
When Jesus spoke of the seed that is sown among thorns, he was talking about ground that is embedded with weeds. However unsavory the thought of weeding, it is an essential part of gardening. Those ratty weeds will grow alongside my beautiful flowers and, left unchecked, will eventually hinder the growth of the good seed planted in my garden.
Jesus is the master gardener. Though we know the truths he has planted in our hearts, we sometimes allow the "weeds" of life to sprout and multiply. We waste precious time worrying about earthly matters, but cannot seem to set aside that same amount of time to cultivate our spiritual health.
We value secular entertainment and sporting events over attendance in worship. Working longer hours to attain more stuff becomes more important than spending time with our families. There is little or no time for personal devotion, reflection, and prayer because our social calendars are overly booked. We exhaust ourselves.
When things on earth become more important than treasures stored up in heaven, is it any wonder that our own priorities are choking us? What unhealthy worries and desires for wealth or stuff are crowding out growth in your life? What is keeping your garden full of weeds?
Prayer for Today
Lord, we know that you alone can offer the fruitful lives for which we yearn. Help us to be willing to let you pull the weeds from our lives. Amen.