Julie and I have been getting to know the gardens in our new house this spring. We moved in on Aug. 31st last year and really didn’t give them any thought until this year. We have been very fortunate to have so many perennials planted around the house and have been learning quite a bit.
For example, I had no idea there were so many different types of weeds! I had been carefully providing for these beautiful flowers that grew tall, quite quickly (that should have been my first clue) and had white flowers at the top.
Rick and Sandy came to visit and assured me that they were weeds. ‘Why?’ I thought, ‘They look nice!’ Apparently they look nice now but will totally overrun your garden by the end of the season so out they go. Meanwhile on the other side of the house I saw something that looked like a weed and I was going to pull it out but ran out of time. The next day I came to it and recognized the flower that had just bloomed that morning: bleeding hearts.
At the last house I had tried to grow sunflowers. I saved seed from last year’s flowers and replanted them, at even intervals the next year. Soon these plants started coming up and I diligently thinned them out as the began to grow. Soon the were waist high but still hadn’t produced the flower I was expecting. ‘Oh well, it’s coming’, I said to myself, ‘they are growing awfully fast this year. Maybe the flower comes later.’ The next week my neighbour stopped me as I was driving out and asked, “Why are you growing ragweed in your garden?”
When you don’t know what your doing all you can go by is the flowers, and even then you can get led astray: Something that may look right at first, could be out of control in no time.
It reminds me of the parable in Matthew 13: 24 – 30. Jesus compares the Kingdom of Heaven to a man who had sown good seed. An enemy sowed bad seed in the same field and when the crop began to grow the weeds appeared as well. The weeds here are likely darnel which looks a great deal like wheat in the early stages of growth but becomes tangled in the wheat and cannot be removed without destroying the wheat. The farmer tells his workers to wait until the harvest, when the weeds can be distinguished more easily from the wheat and both will be taken.
From this we see two spiritual truths: Firstly, God is patient and does not want any to be lost but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Pet. 3: 9) We are living on borrowed time right now as God is giving many one last chance to mend their ways.
Secondly, people’s true character will eventually be seen by what they do: “By their fruits you will know them” (Matthew 7: 16). While that is not to say that good people do good things, and bad people do bad things, a pretender can only put on a show for so long before the charade fails. A person’s true nature will finally be seen in how the Spirit works in their lives. “Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Luke 6: 45)
May our hearts overflow with the grace we have been given in Christ.