I finally got to doing some yardwork in my backyard and was surprised by the number of weeds that had cropped up amidst the healthy bushes and grasses growing around. I spent my time chopping down and clipping and cutting the weeds to help the good plants flourish and to make the foliage in my yard look good. But the roots of the weeds in many places in my yard still remain, though you cannot see them. So the weeds will return potentially for me to cut down again sometime later.
The experience reminds me of this parable Jesus told:
“The servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn”’” (Matthew 13:27-30).
Jesus acknowledges here that weeds and good plants must grow together. They are intermingled and by trying to get rid of the bad, you might get rid of the good. That is a lot like life, isn’t it? The devil plants seeds of weeds amongst the good seeds planted by God. And any attempt to rid the bad growth of sin might uproot good growth going on. So we must live with the presence of original sin in our lives on this side of heaven while continuing to grow faithfully and richly for the Lord simultaneously.
On the Last Day, God will sort it all out. The bad seeds will be burned in the fires of hell and the good growth will be harvested to be brought to the storehouses of heaven. In paradise above, life will no longer be intertwined with good and bad, but will only flourish sin-free to celebrate eternal goodness and grace from our God. Until then, keep growing as good plantings for the Lord wherever you may find yourself, and whatever weeds might be springing up around you.