Aside from 5 adventurous years on the West Coast, I have called the South my home for all my life. It’s a strange and beautiful place, rich with history, culture, gorgeous landscapes, and rib-sticking food.
It’s also a place of searing, sticky heat. Summers seem to last an eternity, and by about mid-August you begin to wonder if this is indeed “Hell’s front porch” as some describe it.
Recently, I opened up my bedroom blinds to take in the beauty of another sweltering morning. A couple of squirrels chased each other across tree-top branches; turtles began to emerge and sun themselves on fallen logs in the lake; a handful of crows pulled worms from the green grass.
And at the far corner of the grassy yard, I spotted one rogue sprinkler, sputtering and spinning as it dumped water all over the weeds and dead leaves resting just on the other side of the sod.
With eyebrows furrowed, I watched as precious water spilled out, imbuing useless weeds with life and strength—while right next to it, a thirsty patch of formerly green grass remained parched and in desperate need of a sip of sustenance.
Before I could make a note to add said rogue sprinkler to the “honey do” list, the Lord struck my mind with conviction of the spiritual parallel—how often do I do the same thing? How often do I water the “weeds” in my life?
Am I watering weeds of jealousy and comparison through social media consumption?
Am I watering weeds of lust with what I choose to watch and listen to?
Am I watering weeds of discontent by focusing on what I don’t have versus what God has graciously given me?
Am I watering weeds of insecurity by comparing my parenting style with that of other moms?
The simple and stark truth is, just as in nature, what we water will grow—and what we don’t will die a slow, thirsty death.
I’m reminded of the beautiful words of Jesus found in John 15:5-8:
“‘I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.’”NIV, emphasis added
Our harried, hurried lives beckon us away from watering our souls with time in God’s Word. The busy and familiar drum of routine pulls us away from Jesus, the One true source of life. Before we know it, we’re dumping water all over the weeds and wondering why we feel so parched inside.
Rest assured, we have thousands of weeds vying for our attention and affection, summoning us for water by falsely promising the fulfillment we seek. But the best thing we can possibly do for ourselves is to allow God’s living water to drench our hearts and minds each day. It’s the only way we can effectively fight the lies our enemy constantly speaks to us.
In John 8:44, Jesus reminds us of our enemy’s true nature:
“He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (NIV)
Sweet reader, I know the weeds in your life beg for water—I know it, because my own weeds of comparison, lust, doubt, discontent, etc. etc. etc. beg as well. But I pray that you and I lean into Jesus and find in Him the strength to deny such weeds our attention and affection.
Today, let us remain in Christ and in His Word. As we refuse to entertain the enemy’s lies, may we see the weeds of our lives die out and lose their grip on our hearts. And may we bear the fruit of a life deeply rooted in our loving Father.
Let’s water wisely, dear one.