My favorite time to weed a garden is right after a rain. The ground is so soft and giving. I’m not very strong in my arms and I love the Herculean feeling of pulling a weed out, tap root and all. Sometimes the really tough ones resist, and I tug and tug and pry with my prying tool, until the weed explodes out of the ground and knocks me back on my butt, feet in the air, a muddy fist full of dirt and dandelion. Victory! (I’m so dainty.)
No matter how often I weed my garden, there is one thing I can guarantee, every morning there will be more weeds. Especially after a rain shower. There are always weeds. You have to stay on top of it if you want your garden to grow, because turn your back for a week, and those weeds can get crazy… sucking all the vitamins out of your plants’ mouths and hogging the sunlight. Weeds really don’t care that you’re trying to grow tomatoes. And the rain falls on the just and the unjust. (Until the unjust choke the just to death with their vines). In the battle of tomato vs. weeds, the tomatoes need a gardener, or the weeds will absolutely win. I have pictures to prove it.
Sometimes we think of discipline as punishment. And probably sometimes it is. But I think more often we should think of discipline as disciple making. A disciple is someone who is being disciplined. It’s learning, it’s correcting. Change the words a little if it helps. A student is someone who is being taught. A child is someone who is being parented. A garden is something that is weeded.
It’s hard work, all of it. It’s hard work that will continue as long as we keep a garden. Remember that the rain helps. Remember that. And yes, sometimes pulling weeds will knock you on your butt, but up look at your hand – you may be holding a dandelion.
Hebrews 12:7-11 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline —then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.