We've been spending some time in the fields pulling weeds...a job that is not real fun, just ask my daughters! It can be hot, the bugs are bad and it takes a long time. For those of you not on the farm, let me paint a picture - the bean field is the size of 20 to 30 football fields, you start on one end, pull weeds as you walk to the other end, turn around and do it again.
The other day as we walked along, I listened to my daughters grumble. They didn't want to do the job. It was boring, it was hard and it for sure was not fun. The quickly grew tired and were ready to quit. As we pressed on, I shared a thought that was on my heart, "This is just like pulling weeds from our heart."
The girls listened to my little mini-sermon, but the following day when I was in the field by myself I had more time to really think about it. Pulling weeds out of the bean field really is quite similar to removing sin from my heart.
Sometimes the work seems overwhelming. We walked into one area of the field and there were so many weeds we were ready to quit before we even began. It can be like that in life, but friend, like I told the girls, if we never start we will never finish!
Sometimes the weeds are hard to recognize. We were amazed at all the weeds that had their tops eaten off by the deer. These were easy to miss. Sin can deceive us as well...we must know what we are looking for and when we identify it, we must do all we can to remove it.
The smaller the weed the easier the pull. The weeds that were tall had a good, strong root system and took a real effort to remove, but the smaller weeds were not as strong and were easily removed. Oh friend, this is true with sin and is one reason to turn from sin the minute we recognize it. The longer we let it linger, the harder it is to turn from it.
Weeds only die when the root is removed. Sometimes when you'd pull a weed you'd crack it off rather than pulling it out. In the long run this does no good and the same is true in a spiritual sense. We may be tempted to remove part of our sin, but friend we must repent from it all.
If you don't pull the weeds, you won't harvest the fruit. As I was pulling weeds I thought about a few days prior when we were picking strawberries. This was a job my kids enjoyed and I did too. It truly was more fun to pick berries than weeds, but if the man at the strawberry patch had not pulled the weeds we would not enjoyed the berries. If we want to produce a harvest in our life, we must do the work of pulling weeds!
Sometimes you just have to do the work. Pulling weeds isn't something every farmer does anymore...many of them spray their field and the chemical does the work, but since we farm organically and are growing edible beans, spray is not an option. Friend, if you and I want a real "organic" relationship with our heavenly Father there is no quick fix for us. Pulling weeds is a job we must do again and again, but the time we invest and effort we exert will be worth it in the end!
Just this morning I was reading 2 Chronicles 7 and this verse struck me and reminded me of my time out pulling weeds. We must turn from our wicked ways, and if we're honest we all have them. Today can I encourage you to spend sometime in prayer about this, ask God to examine your heart...He will show you the weeds, then pray for the strength and diligence to do the work of removing them from your heart. As we do this we will live out verse 7, "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."