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Jun 30, 2019

Short Stories, Big Lessons: Wheat and Weeds

Short Stories, Big Lessons: Wheat and Weeds

Passage: Matthew 13:24-30

Speaker: Pastor Chris Riedel

Series: Short Stories, Big Lessons

Category: Peace, Love, Patience, kindness

Keywords: fruit of the spirit, wheat and weeds

Wheat and weeds live within us. Cultivating the fruits of the Spirit-love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control need to be our focus, not the weeds.

Scripture:

"Jesus told them another parable: The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. . .The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?' 'No,', he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them."
- Matthew 13:24-26; 28-29 

Devotional:

I have a couple of faults. Okay, maybe more than a couple, but two of the biggest are that in much of my life I have been a master at conflict avoidance and an expert at staying in my comfort zone. I don't want to face difficult conversations. I avoid situations that make me feel uncomfortable. I'm often quick to take an easy route and hesitant to try new things because I'm afraid of failing. These aren't great traits to have on a personal level and are even worse when I bring these tendencies into my parenting. 

That's why this parable really resonated with me and I imagine it might with many parents. I know I'm not alone in the desire to get rid of the weeds in my life and in my children's lives as fast and as furiously as I can. I assume I know the best seed to plant. I can do all the right things, check all the appropriate boxes, and if everyone will follow my plan explicitly we can avoid the weeds of pain, of hardship, of discomfort, and of difficulty. If those weeds do happen to rear their ugly heads, I'll just pull them up as quickly as I can. I don't want to look at them. I don't want to figure out how they got there in the first place. Just be gone, Ugly Weeds. 

But I recognize that my plan for my life and my children's lives is never as good as God's plan is. So when those weeds show up and I'm anxious to yank them up, I have to remember that our God sees them, too. While I don't believe He plants those weeds, I do believe He often allows them. I know that no matter how adept I think I might be at avoiding pain and struggle, I live in a broken world in which the enemy is real. I reside on a planet that sprouts some really nasty, sinister ugliness.

And yet, in the midst of that ugliness, I have found the truth of Romans 8:38: that nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God. He can and will use any ol' nasty weed that threatens to choke out the goodness and comfort in our lives to open our eyes to more beauty than we ever could have comprehended otherwise. It has been in the midst of an overgrown mess of a garden that I have seen the most concrete evidence of His presence and thus the most expansive growth of my faith. So, as hard as it is to sit by and leave the weeds in my children's lives, I know that if I allow Him to do the weeding, they will see that the promises of God are real and their relationships with Christ will flourish to greater heights than I could have ever orchestrated. 

Prayer:

Holy God. You are the Master Gardner with the most perfect timing and most skilled expertise. Help us to be patient and faithful as we walk our own journeys as well as witness the walks of our children. We know You will work out all things for good. Help us to trust You with our gardens and with theirs. Amen. 

Written by Jennifer Skinner, member of Arcola Church and a Texan (Texas Longhorn to be specific!) living in beautiful Virginia with her very patient, funny husband, and three very impatient, funny boys/ball players. She is also a blogger, The View From Behind Home Plate, who writes about finding extraordinary grace and blessings among the cleats and dirt and testosterone that fill her ordinary days.