My grandfather was over the other day working on my air conditioner. The air conditioner is located on the side of my house at the end of my flower garden. He said “Do you see that plant? It’s not a rhubarb plant.” I was a little confused why he was telling me that…. I knew it wasn’t a rhubarb. I know that I only have 1 rhubarb plant and that was not it. His explanation interrupted my thoughts, “It’s a weed. Notice how it has similar leaves like your rhubarb. You see, sometimes weeds try to mimic other plants so you will leave them there. You should pull that out. It’s a weed.”
A couple weeks later I finally found a day where all the stars under heaven aligned. The kids were happy playing outside, it wasn’t raining or too hot, and I actually had a little energy to do some gardening. I got on my work gloves and went on a mission to pull out that weed.
Unbeknownst to me, that weed had nearly tripled in size!
It was now more that double the size of my rhubarb!! I had to dig in my heels, hold on with both hands, and tug with a lot of might to get those giant boogers out.
And they still are not completely gone. Some of their roots were too strong to pull out with my hands. I will have to go back with a shovel or weed killer to stop them from coming back again.
I’m going to be honest with you here. I have done this before. With other weeds. I know it’s easier to pull the weeds out when they are really tiny and brand new. A child can pluck them out, roots and all. But I get busy. I’m distracted. Tired. When I find the time to face the weeds, they have usually grown to a point that they need a lot more time, energy, and strength to get rid of.
Have you ever noticed how most plants take several years to establish and flourish. But weeds! Weeds take like 2 days and their roots seem to attach to the core of the Earth.
In my life, I have had spiritual weeds grow.
They, too, were allowed to take root.
Sometimes they snuggled right close to a good, healthy trait.
Some grew unnoticed.
Others were seen, but I was too distracted to pluck them out.
Did I mention that I’m just plain ol’ tired sometimes?
In the same way as the plants, these character ‘weeds’ have needed extra care, time, and energy to get rid of. They took focused prayer, repentance, and accountability. For some, professional guidance was necessary. It’s ok, there is no shame here…. but I do feel sad that I allowed them to take space in my garden.
I chose to look past them.
They took precious resources that I could have used to grow my strengths.
But because of my negligence, I had to spend extra time on these weeds. A few had grown much larger than God ever intended them to be…
I believe that God can heal people in an instant. But I also know, that He takes time.
He is a Gentle Gardener.
He waits until I am ready to do the hard work. When I am willing to put on my dirty gloves, dig my heels in and pull with all my might. He is there to uproot that weed for me.
He is the True Gardener.
He is the only one that can kill the root, down in my core. He can heal me so that it never returns.
It takes work.
But in that working, I grow closer to Him.
My faith is made stronger.
I am moved from glory to glory.
The process is not pretty, but the result is always…beautiful.
— Samantha Cosgrove
Associate Director of Lifegate Women