I shake my head, frustrated. How can it be that in one of the worst droughts in the Midwest, the weeds grow tall and green? Grass everywhere dying. Corn not filling the husks.
We have been praying for rain. And waiting. And praying. And the Lord has decided it shall not come. We learn to find contentment in the midst of not having control, and to surrender that-which-will be to His sovereign will. But really, do those weeds have to tower so high – to stand mocking us when all else is dying?
A visitor stopped by the other day and saw the garden – real plants disappearing somewhere under the towering weeds. I told them how it had happened – how it got this bad. At first I was busy – the bustle of the beginnings of summer, t-ball games and swim lessons. Then by the time I realized that the drought had set in, the weeds were already well established. And there is this problem with weeds – they won't surrender their root unless the ground is wet. It really is no use trying to pull weeds in scorched land – they will grow back from the root, and be stronger, tougher to uproot next time.
I had forgotten about this rule of weeds. By the time I realized I was in over my head, they were just too big and it was just too dry.
Then today finally came. A steady rain. A rain that some might say is just too late to make a difference. I wandered out to the garden and began to pull. The ground was wet – deep down wet – the kind that lets you pull the weed out root and all – like a tooth pulled by the dentist, never to return. I kept pulling them up, the garden taking shape once the intruders were thrown out. The plants underneath were small and stunted. That's what happens when a drought comes and the light is choked out by the weeds.
I had forgotten. This is what happens when the water of the Word dries up. When we get too busy to put down deep roots and soak up His grace. The drought comes, and the weeds grow. It doesn't happen overnight, but one day at a time, like the dripping of a faucet that eventually fills a bathtub. They choke out the Light and stunt our growth. And we can't just pull out the chaos or sin in our life to try to fix it. The roots will remain, and the weeds will grow back stronger. No. We must soak in the true Water. Only then can that which chokes our joy be removed completely. The water of the Word loosens the grip that the weeds of sin and distraction have in our lives, and we can be freed to grow and bear true fruit.
I feel it first before I see it – the gray clouds giving way, and the warmth of the sun on my back. I stop and look around at this garden, and see the plants – leaves wide open to the sun, soaking in the light. And I am ready too. To soak in His grace, growing strong, and bearing much fruit.
At the foot of the cross,