Most of us hate weeds. They take over our yards and our gardens and make life generally miserable. But what about the weeds in our lives? Can they serve a greater purpose?
Don’t touch those weeds! Here’s a story I wrote several years ago that illustrates what I’m talking about:
Saved by the Weeds
Farming, like other high-risk occupations, requires a great deal of faith, dependence, and trust in God’s timing and goodness.
One year a potato farmer encountered some problems due to hot weather. Because potatoes are a very temperamental crop and must be in the ground a certain period of time the farmer was concerned that the planting be done on time.
The weather broke, however, and he planted the potatoes only five days late. As the cultivation program began, everything looked good except for two plots where weeds began to grow out of control two weeks before the harvest. It was too late to destroy the weeds. The farmer had to let them keep growing.
Another more severe problem emerged when a truck strike interfered with the targeted harvest date. The farmer knew that leaving his potatoes too long in the Arizona summer heat would destroy the crop. In the meantime, the “carpet weeds” continued to flourish and provided an almost blanket-like protection over the potatoes, while taller weeds gave additional shade. Later as the harvesters examined the fields, they discovered that wherever the weeds had grown up, there was no spoilage of potatoes. In weed-free areas, the potatoes were ruined because of the heat. The weeds saved his crops. He had only 5 percent spoilage.
God often uses seemingly adverse circumstances to shield and shade us from “spoilage” in our lives. The very “weeds” we chafe about–petty irritations, chronic interruptions, “irregular” people–are often the means He uses to enhance our ultimate growth and develop a harvest of godly character in us.1
“Let both grow together until the harvest.” –Matthew 13:30 NIV
1Rebecca Barlow Jordan, “Saved by the Weeds,” Copyright 2002 Cook Communications Ministries, In the Garden with God by Honor Books. Used with permission. May not be further reproduced. All rights reserved.