Weed wars (It’s Not What You Think)
by Daniel Bramlett
I am at war. Weeds are popping up in my yard at a daily rate. I cannot describe the mental battle that takes place every time I see one. If I am going to stop their spread, I have to catch them before they go to seed. Dandelions are the worst. That puffy little thing can spread with the slightest wind and be all over the yard in a minute. Their roots are deep and strong. Their leaves are big and hearty. The good grass won’t have a chance around a dandelion.
Clover is next. It grows in clumps. Its roots are shallow but its strength is in numbers. It will drown a good yard out in a season. Johnson Grass is next. Its big, leafy clumps are so hearty and strong I have to use something stronger than Roundup to kill it. The top will die and in a matter of days it will grow right back. Dad would say, “That stuff will grow in a bucket of gasoline!” I agree.
I am at war. The weapons in my arsenal are not my own. Their invention is a lab far from my home. Their containers are in shapes and materials I can’t form in my shop. They cost me time and money. Hours are spent spraying, pulling, fertilizing and cultivating. The idea is to be rid of weeds forever. Sometimes I feel like Luke Skywalker in the face of Darth Vader. The universe of dandelions is staring me down and all I have is a spray bottle full of liquid ingredients I can’t spell and some cheap gloves to fight them off.
I am at war. My goal is a clean, green yard full of healthy grass that I don’t have to mow every three days because of tall, overpowering weeds. To rid my yard of stickers, briers, ugly plants and painful ones is what keeps me motivated. I constantly nurse a herd of mowing equipment, including but not limited to a mower from each of the last four decades, a hedge trimmer I bought at Dirt Cheap for $1, gas cans with limbs for stoppers and a push mower that won’t run unless I pray over it.
I wage this war with a passion that would make Bob Ross proud. If you look at my yard today, you may be tempted to think that I am working with rose-colored glasses on. But as with anything I pursue, you have to look at the end product. Everything is a work in progress. My yard may not be the carpet I long for today, but one day … one day we will lie down on that grassy surface and roll without hitting mud, stumps, holes or dandelions.
As I diligently sprayed my lawn this week, I was reminded that I am at war in other areas of my life as well. I have an enemy who is constantly planting weeds to choke out the reality of God’s truth that has been planted in me. If I don’t resist him just as diligently as I resist the weeds in my yard, his lies and accusations will spread throughout my life.
The truth is, many believers spend more time on their lawns than they do in the Word. We spend more time mowing than we do waiting on the Lord. We care more about the absence of the weeds than we do about the presence of the Lord. Could that be you? The lawn doesn’t have to be the focus. It can be anything. Media captures the attention of most of us for large portions of the day. Work occupies much of our time. Hobbies can eat up chunks of time if we aren’t careful. If you are anything like me (and you probably aren’t. I can be pretty eccentric.), you run the gambit. One day you feel like waiting on the Lord and have a wonderful prayer and meditation time. The next day your hobby grabs your attention and off you go with something new and shiny. The next day work scrambles to the top of the pile and captures your thoughts. And so the list goes.
Don’t you ever get tired of living that way? Don’t you wish you could hate your sin as much as you hate your weeds? The good news and the point of this article is YOU CAN! You can live with focus and determination in your relationship with the Lord All Day Long. It takes surrender to the Spirit of God and submission to His will for you. He takes care of the weeds and the enemy who plants them. He scatters the seed we want so badly to produce fruit in our lives. He cultivates the soil and tends the plants as they begin to grow. This is His job and He loves doing it almost as much as He loves you!
So, why do we resist Him? Because we love to be in control. Here’s the deal. You can go back to pulling weeds and come to the end of your life and regret the massive waste that lay behind you OR you can submit to the Lord of all seed and weeds and allow Him the freedom to produce what He wants in your life. If you choose the latter, I can promise your end thoughts will be filled with joy. The only way our lives can be made beautiful is in Christ. Will you let Him work your soil?