I have just come inside from ANOTHER long, tiring morning of…weeding.

I’m going to make a confession–I hate weeding.

No, not hate.  Despise, abhor, loathe, detest, disdain..yes, a thesaurus is still a useful tool!

Because I soooo detest this task, I put it off.  And put it off.  And put it off.

Until I end up with a mess of a planted area, and my weed piles look like this:weeds 1        weeds 2

Yes, I know I should do it more often.  Yes I know putting landscape fabric down would minimize weeds.  Yes I know more mulch would prohibit weed growth.  Yes I know there is such a thing as a weed killer spray.  Yes, I know.

But I don’t do it.

As I was sooo enjoying weeding this morning (sarcasm, my sweet), I was also spending awesome time with my Lord (no sarcasm!). I thought this task might make a great topic for writing, but how would I tie in weeding to the Bible?  My God didn’t let me wonder that long.  Check out these verses He gave:

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing…”  Philippians 2:14

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”  Proverbs 17:22
“Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” Psalm 51:12
Yes, yes.  I get it.  But then…He gave me something else.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”     John 15:1-2
Wait, what?
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.     John 15:5-6branches
So, are You using this task that I hate to show me in a personal way, the importance of pruning?
Do I need to be reminded of what You sometimes do in my life?  Am I to get ready for a season of “weeding”?
Or are You gently saying to me that I need to see this weeding that I do in these beds as a representation of how my life can become so full of weeds without my daily time with You?
I think He meant for me to get all those things, and probably more, out of it.
Remember my weed piles?  Here’s the area from which they came, all cleaned up:clean weeded
Our lives are just like this area.  Sometimes we just don’t want to get rid of some activity, some relationship, some tv show, some food addiction, some laziness, some attitude, some … When we leave those things in our lives, we end up covered by  “weeds” that keep us from bearing the fruit of God (remember–love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control).  Pretty soon, those weeds control us–and it’s then that our loving God may step in and do some major “weeding.”  Is it fun?  Nooooo.  Does it take a while?  Yes it does.  Can it be painful?  Yep, especially when He pulls out those thorny weeds that really want to hold on to our souls (as a side note, I absolutely cannot stand to pull thorny weeds from my planting areas–but I digress).
So how do we keep our lives from becoming weedy messes?  It truly is this simple:
remain grapes
Remain in Christ.  Stay near to Him.  Read His Word.  Spend time with Him.  Listen to His whispers.  Look for His presence.  Keep away from things, places, people that will only cause weeds to grow.  Be open to His holy pruning.  Ask Him to clean out your life, to rid your heart of all those thorny things that keep you from fully living the abundant life that He desires for you.
A thriving life sounds much better than a non-fruit bearing branch.  Give yourself completely to God–and get ready to look completely different than you did before.
And now, I think I’ll rest.  For more weeds await me…tomorrow…
A special thanks to my yard for providing me with lovely pictures to use as examples.  I knew my reluctance to weed would come in handy one day…
Oh, and another thanks to my grapevines for looking so green and lush in the Carolina sun today…

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