Saturday, August 27, 2016

Weeds and Seeds

     I have been pulling weeds lately.  You see, it is rainy season here in central Mexico.  From roughly the beginning of July until the end of October it rains at some point every day, usually towards late afternoon or evening and sometimes even into the night.  That also means that it is growing season…not only for the farmers, but for the weeds!

     We have two specific areas of Refuge Ranch for which I have greater aspirations than weed patches!  The first sits next to our playground and will one day be a grassy, beautiful soccer field!  The second is the ridge behind the new main house construction where, one day, our new dining room, kitchen and office windows will look out upon a hill of wild flowers.  In the meantime, there are weeds.  Lots of weeds.
Our playground area with the "to be" soccer field in the background.
The cow even helps me pull up weeds!
     So, every morning, during my prayer walk, I pull up 10 weeds in each of these areas per circuit around the property.   Along the way, I have discovered a lot about weeds and their roots…and a lot about my own spiritual condition!

The ridge behind the new house construction.
     Today I will share with you about my favorite kind of weed.  Oops!  To start with, one should probably not have a “favorite” kind of weed, but I do!  These weeds are the little weeds!  They are short, new, small and have little or almost no root system!  I can actually pull them up with one hand and even pull them up with the hand in which I am grasping 8 other small weeds that I have already pulled!

     Sometimes it is difficult to decide whether to concentrate on the larger weeds or the smaller weeds.  For several days in a row, I will concentrate on the larger weeds, which look worse, take up more space and prove more troublesome, rationalizing that the smaller weeds aren’t very large nor burdensome and can wait to be pulled.  Guess what happens in those few days?  The small weeds become large weeds, some to the point that the strength of my hands does not suffice to pull up the weed with the entire root system, when, just a few days earlier, I could have easily removed the plant, roots and all, from the soil with just one hand!

     While I cannot ignore the larger weeds, letting them grow nearly into bushes, I certainly cannot ignore the smaller weeds!  In fact, by dedicating due attention to the smaller weeds, I can actually save myself the trouble of having to deal with larger weeds later on!

     Oh, that my heart would understand this same principle!  How many times can I see a “small sin” lurking in my soul and fall into the comfortable and false conclusion that I can let it lie for a time?  Lord, have mercy on me when I come back to my heart’s garden and that little weed is now a bush, far too large to be discarded simply through daily devotions, but requiring the spade of a counselor’s assistance or the pastor’s accountability.

     Oh, to keep our heart free of the little weeds!  This requires daily weeding at the hand of the Master Gardener, Jesus, through the attention of the Holy Spirit!  Time, on a daily basis, spent in God’s Word and in communication with Him through prayer, will pull up those new, small, nearly rootless weeds without a problem….never to become bushy and bothersome sins!

     So, we probably shouldn’t have a “favorite” kind of weed nor a “favorite” kind of sin, but, if so, may our “favorite” ones be the small ones, the ones that have not yet had the opportunity to grow.  The ones that the light and love of daily exposure to God’s truth can pull up so simply!  Have you ever thought about the fact that EVERY sin starts out as a “small” sin?  On my walks, I have observed that no weed starts out as a large weed!  They all start out small!  If I can pluck them all when they are small I would never have to deal with a large weed!

     So, let’s get a pluckin’ by letting God remove those small sins on a daily basis and we won’t ever have to deal with the large ones!

     Now, quite the opposite of pulling weeds is planting seeds!  If you are reading this blog you have been a seed planter through Fishers of Men!  Whether through your prayers, your giving or having served here in Mexico at some point in time, you have invested in planting the seeds of God’s kingdom!  Some of those seeds have grown and are now producing fruit, which contains more seeds being planted in others’ lives!

     If I could only count the ways, but here are just a few!

Our daughter, Martita, and her husband, Leonel, began seminary classes this week in Guerrero so that they can be best prepared to serve the Lord together!

These are five of our children that served at our church's VBS this year:
(left to right) Miguel (music), Angie (VBS director), Fidel (kitchen), Leo (teacher's assistant), Josiah (sports)
When I was a little girl our family used "Our Daily Bread" booklet for family devotions.  So, it was special for me to be able to get sample copies of that devotional resource in Spanish that will enable families and individuals in our church to sign up for the quarterly publication free of charge and grow in their relationship with the Lord through daily devotions.  Several of our girls loved helping me hand out the devotionals!

Children's church last evening at our church where I had the privilege of leading worship with our children:  Josiah on the drums, Leo on guitar and Ruth and Carolina on vocals.
Ruth had the incredible honor of sharing God's word with the children....
and David the privilege of praying for his big sister before she preached!