The farmhands asked, “Should we weed out the thistles?” He said, “No, if you weed the thistles, you’ll pull up the wheat, too.” Matthew 13:28b-29 (The Message)
One summer, I discovered weed vines mixed in with my green beans. We had covered our rows to protect the plants from pests, so the vines were in full force by the time the cover was removed.
I sighed and started to pull at the creepers, gingerly attempting to untangle their strangle hold on the beans. The longer I worked, weeding them out took precedence over caring for the plants. My reasoning was simple: they would choke, limiting production anyway; why not just yank the vines and let the beans recover?
Determinedly I labored, confident that all would be well—until I got to the end of the row and looked back at the swath of destruction that had been the beans. I swallowed. The plants lay in a long, tattered, beaten-down mess. I had planted, watered, covered, and then destroyed them. Poor things; maybe they would spring back soon.
But they didn’t—not really, anyway. Some produced fruit, but not nearly as much as they should have. The whole event made me think about people. How many times had I damaged others in my impatience for them to throw off the world’s entanglements, and to grow and produce fruit? So simple!
Thank God that He has a different gardening method. He deals with us gently, knowing our weak (beanstalk) frame. His wisdom is pure, peaceable, and gentle; full of mercy and good fruits. How great is that harvest!
Father, You have planted, watered, and nurtured us. Help us to be gentle with others who are in the growing process, too.
© 2010 Katherine A. Fuller