Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Where the weeds grow...

"Walking beans" or "Pulling weeds" are two phrases my kids and I are tired of hearing. The job is hot, it seems to never end and you get itchy. But like any other experience it's one God is in...He's always there, but we need to look and listen. I'm not sure I was looking the other day, but I was listening.

We'd been up and down the rows a few times, played the "I'm going on a picnic" game and everyone was quiet. I'd spent some time praying, but then as I walked in silence going thru the motions of pulling weeds I spent some time listening to the Holy Spirit whisper to my heart.

There are different kinds of weeds growing in our bean field - pigweed, button weed, ragweed and other names I don't remember. Some of them at a certain stage look much like our beans. If I'm not intentional in my looking or too quick in my walking I can miss them and assume they are on the way to producing a crop.

A weed in the center of our dry beans.
After this observation, my lesson began. Think about this for a minute - Where do weeds grow? They, these bad, unnecessary plants, grow up amongst the good ones that produce the harvest we hope for.

Friend, the weeds in our heart often do the same. They grow right up with the good fruit we are trying to produce for the kingdom of God. Button weeds don't just sprout in one corner of our field, they grow throughout it and sin works the same way.

That's not saying we can't have hidden sins that stand alone, but it's a reminder that we must address the ones that grow up with fruit we are hoping to produce. I encourage you to take some time and think about this.

As I did just that, the thing God brought to mind was pride. Let's define this word that we know the Bible says is bad - deep pleasure or satisfaction from one's own achievements and thinking more about yourself than others.

If we're honest, I think we can each admit to a struggle with pride at some point in our lives. It's not a fun admission, but it is a necessary one. And friend, this pride isn't limited to the it's all about me, I'm better than everybody thinking and behavior. In a way, insecurity can be labeled pride as well. When we worry about what everyone else thinks...we are focusing on self and thinking about ourselves more than others.

God timed this lesson for me - just days ago, I was blessed to be part of an amazing sports camp where we saw God work. The testimonies we've heard have been a joy, but in all honesty I've wrestled with a few doubts as I reflect on things I said, or didn't say, as I shared from my heart and tried to point kids to Christ. In reality, I'd been praying about this and others were praying for me...what's done is done and what I said is what I must trust God will use. I still battle some insecurity every time I step out to speak, but I'm realizing that is a weed I must uproot. Reflecting and working to improve is a good thing, but dwelling on doubt is bad and something that hinders the growth God is working towards.

In just over two weeks I will again be blessed to be part of an amazing event God will work through - the 5th ReNEWed Life Women's Event will be held in our small town. Today in the field I was reminded that God is growing fruit, but I must be diligent, intentional and watchful to recognize and remove the weeds that are growing right along with it.

Friend, Hebrews 12:1 says, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us..."

We need to get rid of the sin...it trips us up and prevents the fruit from growing. This is an easy statement to make and a concept that I think we agree with, but it is a task that is challenging. Just like pulling weeds in our bean field, we must learn what sin is - it can resemble fruit, we must be diligent to look for it - it takes effort to spot it and distinguish it as well. The job isn't fun, it requires work and takes time.

But friend, let me remind you - the work is worth it! Today the kids and I finished a field we'd been working on for awhile and there was a real feeling of accomplishment. We also had joy when we shared the news with my husband - the farmer was pleased! He understands the damage weeds can do and the growth they hinder. God understands that so much more!!

Today I'd like to encourage you to think about the fruit God is growing in your life. Thank God for the growth and then ask Him to give you eyes to see the weeds that are growing right up with it. Once you see it, pray and ask for help in removing the weeds. Friend, our good Father...the One who controls the wind and the waves, the one who does the growing...He knows. He is faithful and will provide the tools you need.

Sometimes my younger kids need help pulling the weeds so they ask me or an older sibling to pull along with them and I'd be honored to do the same for you. If you are aware of a weed and want prayer, leave me a comment or send me an email (jillberan@yahoo.com) and I will lift you up.

Blessings from the farm!!




1 comment:

  1. Jill, thank you for wonderful YOU. I know you and I have some of the same mentors. God has used them to speak truth into my heart and I'm just relaying those same words of wisdom... You prayed over your talks. You have devoted your messages to Jesus. The Holy Spirit moved thru the words you spoke and also kept you from speaking other words. His word that went out thru you will NOT return void... But it will accomplish the very things out Papa sent them forth to do! Don't let the enemy plant any weeds! I love you!

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