Weeds in the Garden
When you think of a garden, what comes to mind? For myself, I think of beauty, flowers, trees, grass, fruit and vegetables growing all around. The birds are chirping and the sun is shining so brightly. I think of peace, serenity, and harmony. Can you picture it? As I sit here pondering it, I can’t help but feel so at ease. Gardens are truly beautiful in so many ways and facets.
Now think of the Garden of Eden. The account of the Garden of Eden begins in Genesis 2;
"Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil."
Can you imagine this garden that God created? God created the heavens and the earth. Every sunset and sunrise has been due to the work of His hand. Our God knows beauty, in fact, He IS beauty. So how beautiful could this garden have been? In my opinion, it had to have been a sight to behold. It was probably a masterpiece of God’s creation.
Not only was this garden all things beautiful, but I believe the main reason why the Garden of Eden was so beautiful was because the purpose of it. God created Adam to live in the garden and commune with God daily. Could you imagine what life was like during that time in the garden? Before sin entered the world, Adam and Eve had all their needs provided for, there was no fear, no shame, nothing separating them from God. They experienced God every day in such a real tangible way- the way it was meant to be.
"Then, the fall happened. In Genesis 3, the account of Eve encountering the serpent is told. The serpent deceived Eve into thinking that God was holding out on her and Adam when God said, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
Now, if you’re anything like me, all the typical questions run through your mind-
‘Why didn’t God just squish the snake?” or “why did God let Eve talk to the serpent?”, or “If God knew the Eve was going to fall, why did He even create that tree to begin with?” These are all valid questions, but unfortunately I do not have all the answers in my back pocket right now. But what we do learn from the story is that God told Eve to not do something, she did, and then sin entered the world forever. The weeds in the garden began to grow as Adam and Eve disobeyed God for the very first time.
Weeds are ugly. They are a pain to get rid of (without weed killer), and they ruin any beautiful garden. Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines weeds as “a plant that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth; especially: one that tends to overgrow or choke out more desirable plants.
My question for you is, what are the weeds growing in your garden?
Obviously, we don’t live in gardens anymore such as Adam and Eve, but because of Jesus Christ and the power of His resurrection, we now have the ability to experience the garden of Eden within our hearts- because of Christ within us, we can encounter God on a daily basis, walking and communing with Him just as if He was with us right by our side in the garden. Jesus is called “Emmanuel” which means “God with us”. Through a relationship with Jesus Christ and the forgiveness of sins, God is with us consistently and constantly. But in the midst of this truth, there are things that try to pull us away from God. There are things in our lives that try to create a sense of separateness between us, God, and the resurrection life He provides for those who follow Him. So, what are these things that try to separate us from God?
Sin. All things that God tells us to run from, but we choose anyways. Sin is a word that rubs many people the wrong way. All it means is that we have “missed the mark.” God commands us to live a certain way, not out of control or a dictatorship, but because He is a Father with a loving heart. God tells us to live a certain way because He loves us SO much and He wants to protect us from the things that rob us from experiencing true life.
From experience, life without sin is the best life. There is no drama or chaos, there is only peace and serenity. Due to the fallen world we live in, sin creeps into our personal worlds and hearts daily, but it is up to us to surrender to Jesus Christ and His power on a daily basis so we “crucify the flesh, with all of its passions and desires.” The Christian life is about continually allowing God to purify our hearts from sin so we live and walk in the spirit, just like Jesus did.
Our flesh naturally rejects God, but once we accept Jesus into our hearts, He takes us on a journey towards freedom, healing, and holiness. Holiness is what Christ died to give us, and holiness leads to life. God’s word says “be holy for I am holy.” He doesn’t tell us this just for good advice, but He tells us to pursue holiness because as we do, we draw closer to the loving Father and begin to experience life the way it was meant to be- free from sin and its consequences.
The weeds in our heart can range from shame, fear, and guilt, to forms of addiction, insecurity and any desire Gods word speaks against. They are things that pull our focus away from God and the plans He has for us. These things rob us from freedom, but God is calling us out of our darkness and into the marvelous light of His healing and presence.
No matter what you are holding onto today Jesus Christ died and rose from the dead to give you life- life abundantly. There are a lot of people walking around today with baggage from years past, offenses or wounds. I have GREAT news for you- there is hope beyond that pain and hurt. There is healing that CAN come to your soul. It’s not in the form of a pill, but it’s in the form of Gods transforming spirit that is alive. God gives healing freely for anyone who chooses to lay down their life and follow Him.
No matter where God asks you to go, no matter what the journey holds, saying yes to Jesus and His plans is completely worth it. There is more purpose and joy than you could imagine. God will give you the strength to be confident, not in yourself or the world, but in Him- the unmovable, unshakable rock that we can build our lives on. No matter what happens in your world, no matter the suffering or trials ahead, God will give you peace through the storm. He will give you a garden in the midst of a desert.
Trust in Him today. If you don’t personally know Jesus, just tell Him you want to know Him. His word says “you will find me when you seek for Me with ALL of your heart.” He wants to take you on a journey, the greatest journey of life. There is a garden of peace, serenity, and harmony available for you, and it’s available by knowing Jesus as Lord, Savoir, and Friend.