Just recently, in my backyard, there was a weed that was taller than my wife. I’m not joking. Granted, she’s only about 5’1’’, but still, that’s a really tall weed. We had joked around about taking a glass of lemonade and a book out to the yard, and catching some shade under our weed. How a weed could get so tall, I don’t know. But, it’s gone now, and our backyard is starting to look a lot better. The problem was not just the mutant weed, but a hundred or so small weeds had popped up across the yard over the course of a couple of days. Over that time, we had been real busy, and we just hadn’t been out in the yard. It happened stunningly quickly, and it was clear we had a lot of work to do. In fact, it took us two solid days of constant weed pulling, bagging them, and then fertilizing the struggling grass. The lawn is on the mend, but we had to get our game faces on to make it happen.

In Matthew 13, Jesus uses weeds as an example for his teaching:

24Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.25But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. 27“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ 28” ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ 29” ‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’ ”

Sometimes, we get a better picture of Jesus’ teaching when we actually experience the illustration he uses for the teaching. I didn’t fully understand the nature and difficulty of weeds until they tried a hostile takeover of my backyard. I was shocked at how fast they grew. I was frustrated by the way they grew all over the yard, and I was surprised at how hard they were to pull. We only neglected the yard for a few days.

Jesus compares this to the kingdom of God. In every good work, there will be frustration. In places all over the world, there are people seeking to honor God, yet obstacles arise. In your life, there will be weeds that sprout up around you and frustrate you to no end. Trials and struggles seem to pop up out of nowhere or suddenly reappear. Your challenge is to grow as God would desire you to grow, and trust that He, in the end, will separate the good from the evil, the beautiful from the defiled, the truth from the lies. There is no easy explanation for why there is sin, death, and evil in the world. We know it’s the case, and we are called to grow in faith in God even amongst that. It comes back to faith, trusting that God will right all things in the end.

Guiding real people to embrace a life-giving relationship with Jesus Christ