Friday, June 1, 2012

Weeds are a Sign of Good Soil

Genesis 2:8-9
This is supposedly where I expect to plant some zucchinis;
let's hope it's cleared and planted before July
Whenever I get overwhelmed by the proliferation of weeds in my garden I remember a tale recounted by Jerry Baker in one of his books (I think this one). His grandma assigned him a garden plot completely covered with weeds for his first garden. When he protested she responded that we should be suspicious of any dirt that even the weeds aren't willing to grow in. A plot enjoyed by so many weeds is filled with nutrients and ready to grow other plants as well; even though it takes work to remove the "volunteers" first.
Freshly mowed "lawn"; this is what everything looked
like when we moved in and started our first garden
My garden has overtaken half our yard but the space wasn't originally occupied by grass. To tell the truth, only two-thirds of our lawn is grass even after 7 years of my battle against the weedy volunteers. Everything we converted to garden was (and unfortunately sometimes still is) the unchallenged terrain of several varieties of weeds. But the weeds want to grow there because it's soil worth growing in. Especially after all our work: it's fed regularly by compost and manure, watered when dry, and absolutely teeming with millions of worms, ants, spiders, roly-polies, slugs, snails, centipedes, and insects I still can't identify.
Temporarily cleared of most weeds so the lettuce and herbs
and flowers can grow
I realized as I was working, again, to clear an area of weeds, that I am like that soil. I wonder sometimes why God bothers working to clear out all the weeds that choke out His fruit in me. I wonder why those weeds insist on returning and why He doesn't just move on to someone more available to grow His seeds rather than the enemy's plants. I struggle with fully accepting His generous love for me and seeing myself through His eyes. But why would He want to plant anything in soil that even the weeds disdain? He continues working because it's good soil underneath, soil that is only improved by the regular feedings He gives it; soil that really does respond to His attention and truly is capable of giving a good harvest.
Soil that is attractive to weeds is also attractive to other plants
I will keep working with Him to fight the weeds and produce the fruits He is asking of me. May His harvest be abundant far beyond my expectations.

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