“A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears,[a] let him hear.” Matthew 13:3-9
For the past several weeks I have slept very poorly. I am restless – something deep in my soul is bothering me and it is interfering with my thought life, my prayer life and my mental well-being. I find myself over-tired, distracted and sighing in the middle of my thoughts. I feel choked, without peace and I have not known why.
This morning I woke up with this thought in my head, “When the weeds get in the way…” Huh? What does that mean? Perplexed, I stumbled out of bed, headed for fortification (coffee) and sipped and pondered its meaning. It took some conversation with my hubby, who is my ever-present sounding board to dig through it. It is this. I am overwhelmed. The weeds are strapping on to my feet, my legs and trying to trip me up. I am being poked and scraped up by the thorns of life and I do not like it.
Though I know that God’s seed, His word, is in me, every day brings another calamity, natural disaster, 24/7 bad news cycle, or national or global tirade from some one or another. I palpably feel the decay of the “soil”, my country, beneath my feet. As in Psalm 2 foretells, the nations are raging and the people are plotting in vain….and it darkens my soul.
Jesus told us in His word that we will have trials and tribulations…(John 16:3) Did he not say that even “the elect” will be deceived? But He also told us to be of “good cheer,” to not be afraid because He has overcome the world; e.g. the battles will rage, the war is won, by Him.
It occurs to me that like many, I have been praying for God’s intercession in our nation and across the globe. I ask for Him to send his spirit into the hearts and minds of all, to bring us to repentance and salvation, to humble us and give us ears that will finally hear Him, and a heart that will finally yield to love Him and in turn, love each other through Him. Could it be that these tribulations are being allowed to bring humanity to this very place? Perhaps the nations, when humbled enough, will bend and offer a contrite heart and turn away from the ugliness of the human state?
Thus, it is the very spirit, the “thorns” and “weeds” that will grow up and try to choke out the truth of God’s Word, His Peace and His spirit that lives inside His children. We must be wary of this, and we must rebuke it. Yesterday I heard a quote, which sums it up exactly – “If what we seek is love, we must abandon hate,” and it is that spirit of hate which is choking me and frankly, all of us – I feel it permeating the hearts and souls of humanity – and it is evil. Now more than ever we are experiencing an Ephesians 6:12 moment, For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
When the weeds get in the way we must remember that though we cannot change the hearts of others, God can and we should pray that He does. It is only if we allow the pure love that is in God to be in us that change will come.
For me, it is in tearing down of strongholds – of having my belief system challenged, my patriotism cowed and seeing “right” become wrong and wrong become right that I am experiencing the pain and the lack of peace. But we are called to press on – we are tasked to hold on lightly – whether it be to our beloved country, our life, lifestyles or our status quo.
And so my thoughts turn to Moses – He too lived in a time when the nations were roiling and surely man plotted evil – a lot… It occurs to me that Moses was always an itinerant, never really owning anything permanent – his real estate was being held for him somewhere else…. With no country of his own, he was always a stranger in a strange land…from a Hebrew child removed from his mother’s arms, to a man thrown out of his adopted home, to a traveling preacher in the deserts of the Sinai….He lived his life on the mountain tops and in the valleys – as an orphan, as a Prince of Egypt, as a murderous fugitive and ultimately as a servant of the living God; who in obedience delivered the nation of Israel into the promised land. Moses never even entered his real home, God’s Promised Land, until after he left this earth.
Surely in Moses’ faith journey he too experienced the vagaries of the “birds” trying to eat up God’s word in his heart, the hard- heartedness that comes from too much time tramping along hard soils, the wading through the thorns and the weeds whilst searching for truth… but ultimately, Moses made it to the good soil, where the good seed (his trust and faith in God) finally had a chance to burrow in and grow. It produced a hundred-fold of blessing in his life and in that, he is an example to us in the good time and the hard times.
If you too are wandering in the weeds, stand strong and keep pushing your way through. Close your mind and heart to the negative spirit of hate. Don’t buy into it. Turn off the news. Don’t get overwhelmed in what seems like the very destruction of the ideals you hold dear…we have a really big God who has a greater plan for His own. In the meantime, walk in obedience, see where you are being led and trust God that your presence at this time in history is for a purpose – for while the nations roil and evil men plot in vain, we have work to do for the real Promised Land – in loving others, pointing them to a life that counts, a life of purpose.
Father God, I thank you for reminding me about the weeds, that I can tear them away from my life with the strength found in the Word, with my faith and trust in you and with the peace in knowing that I am not in control of my day or even my destiny. I will continue to pray for the nations, and my nation and even if I am so distressed that I cannot sleep OR pray, I will rest in you until I can. Jesus, I will trust in your promise that you have overcome the trials of this world already and I will remember that you are working in our midst to bring all of humanity to your Promised Land. Amen and amen.